"Woe is me": Examining Older Adults' Perceptions of Privacy

Author/Creator ORCID





Citation of Original Publication

Hirak Ray, et.al, "Woe is me": Examining Older Adults' Perceptions of Privacy, CHI EA '19 Extended Abstracts of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2019, DOI: 10.1145/3290607.3312770


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We conducted a study of n = 20 older adults to better understand their mental models for what the term 'privacy' means to them in both digital and non-digital contexts. Participants were asked to diagrammatically represent this information and describe their drawings in a semi-structured interview setting. Preliminary coding analysis revealed participants' frustrations with available methods for addressing privacy violations. While some asserted that there are both good and bad uses of private data, others avoided technology as a whole out of privacy fears or ambivalence towards using web-based banking and social media services. Some participants described fighting back against privacy attacks, while others felt resigned altogether. Our study provides initial steps towards illuminating privacy perceptions of older adults and can have impacts on training and tailor design for this important demographic.