Evoking Comprehensive Mental Models of Anonymous Credentials

  • Erik Wästlund
  • Julio Angulo
  • Simone Fischer-Hübner
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7039)


Anonymous credentials are a fundamental technology for preserving end users’ privacy by enforcing data minimization for online applications. However, the design of user-friendly interfaces that convey their privacy benefits to users is still a major challenge. Users are still unfamiliar with the new and rather complex concept of anonymous credentials, since no obvious real-world analogies exists that can help them create the correct mental models. In this paper we explore different ways in which suitable mental models of the data minimization property of anonymous credentials can be evoked on end users. To achieve this, we investigate three different approaches in the context of an e-shopping scenario: a card-based approach, an attribute-based approach and an adapted card-based approach. Results show that the adapted card-based approach is a good approach towards evoking the right mental models for anonymous credential applications. However, better design paradigms are still needed to make users understand that attributes can be used to satisfy conditions without revealing the value of the attributes themselves.


Credential Selection Anonymous Credentials Mental Models Usability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Wästlund
    • 1
  • Julio Angulo
    • 1
  • Simone Fischer-Hübner
    • 1
  1. 1.Karlstad UniversityKarlstadSweden

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