Nudging People Away from Privacy-Invasive Mobile Apps through Visual Framing

  • Eun Kyoung Choe
  • Jaeyeon Jung
  • Bongshin Lee
  • Kristie Fisher
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8119)


Smartphone users visit application marketplaces (or app stores) to search and install applications. However, these app stores are not free from privacy-invasive apps, which collect personal information without sufficient disclosure or people’s consent. To nudge people away from privacy-invasive apps, we created a visual representation of the mobile app’s privacy rating. Inspired by “Framing Effects,” we designed semantically equivalent visuals that are framed in either a positive or negative way. We investigated the effect of the visual privacy rating, framing, and user rating on people’s perception of an app (e.g., trustworthiness) through two experiments. In Study 1, participants were able to understand the intended meaning of the visual privacy ratings. In Study 2, we found a strong main effect for visual privacy rating on participants’ perception of an app, and framing effects in a low privacy rating app. We discuss implications for designing visual privacy ratings, including the use of positive visual framing to nudge people away from privacy-invasive apps.


Visual framing privacy privacy metrics rating nudge framing effect valence positive framing negative framing Mechanical Turk 


  1. 1., App Store Metrics (2012), (retrieved December 31, 2012)
  2. 2.
    Acquisti, A., Grossklags, J.: What can behavioral economics teach us about privacy? In: Acquisti, A., Gritzalis, S., Di Vimercati, S., Lambrinoudakis, C. (eds.) Digital Privacy: Theory, Technologies, and Practices, pp. 363–379. Auerbach Publications (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Acquisti, A.: Nudging privacy: behavioral economics of personal information. Security & Privacy 7(6), 82–85 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    AndroLib (2012), (retrieved December 31, 2012)
  5. 5.
    Balebako, R., Leon, P.G., Almuhimedi, H., Kelley, P.G., Mugan, J., Acquisti, A., Cranor, L.F., Sadeh, N.: Nudging users towards privacy on mobile devices. In: Proc. CHI 2011 Workshop on Persuasion, Nudge, Influence and Coercion (2011)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boyles, J.L., Smith, A., Madden, M.: Privacy and data management on mobile devices. Pew Internet & American Life Project (2012), (retrieved December 31, 2012)
  7. 7.
    Camerer, C., Issacharoff, S., Samuel, C., Loewenstein, G.: Regulation for conservatives: behavioral economics and the case for “asymmetric paternalism”. University of Pennsylvania Law Review 151, 1211–1254 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Chin, E., Felt, A., Sekar, V., Wagner, D.: Measuring user confidence in smartphone security and privacy. In: Proc. SOUPS 2012 (2012)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Cranor, L.F., Guduru, P., Arjula, M.: User interfaces for privacy agents. ACM TOCHI 13(2), 135–178 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Druckman, J.: Using credible advice to overcome framing effects. J. Law, Economics, and Organization 17, 62–82 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Egelman, S., Felt, A.P., Wagner, D.: Choice architecture and smartphone privacy: there’s a price for that. In: Proc. WEIS 2012 (2012)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Felt, A., Ha, E., Egelman, S., Haney, A., Chin, E., Wagner, D.: Android permissions: user attention, comprehension, and behavior. In: Proc. SOUPS 2012 (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Johnson, E.J., Bellman, S., Lohse, G.L.: Defaults, framing and privacy: why opting in-opting out. Marketing Letters 13(1), 5–15 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kalnikaitė, V., Rogers, Y., Bird, J., Villar, N., Bachour, K., Payne, S., Todd, P.M., Schöning, J., Krüger, A.: How to nudge in situ: designing lambent devices to deliver information salience in supermarkets. In: Proc. UbiComp 2011, pp. 11–20 (2011)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kelley, P.G., Cesca, L., Bresee, J., Cranor, L.F.: Standardizing privacy notices: an online study of the nutrition label approach. In: Proc. CHI 2010, pp. 1573–1582 (2010)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kelley, P.G., Consolvo, S., Cranor, L., Jung, J., Sadeh, N., Wetherall, D.: A conundrum of permissions: installing apps on an android smartphone. In: Proc. FCDS 2012, pp. 68–97 (2012)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lee, M.K., Kiesler, S., Forlizzi, J.: Mining behavioral economics to design persuasive technology for healthy choices. In: Proc. CHI 2011, pp. 325–334 (2011)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Levin, I.P., Gaeth, G.J.: Framing of attribute information before and after consuming the product. J. Consumer Research 15, 374–378 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Levin, I.P., Schneider, S.L., Gaeth, G.J.: All frames are not created equal: a typology and critical analysis of framing effects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 76(2), 149–188 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lin, J., Amini, S., Hong, J., Sadeh, N., Lindqvist, J., Zhang, J.: Expectation and purpose: understanding users’ mental models of mobile app privacy through crowdsourcing. In: Proc. UbiComp 2012, pp. 501–510 (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Marteau, T.M.: Framing of information: its influence upon decisions of doctors and patients. British Journal of Social Psychology 28, 89–94 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Miller, P.M., Fagley, N.S.: The effects of framing, problem variations, and providing rationale on choice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 17, 517–522 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    MSN Movies, X-Men (2012), (retrieved December 31, 2012)
  24. 24.
    Peeters, G., Czapinski, J.: Positive-negative asymmetry in evaluations: the distinction between affective and informational negativity effects. European Review of Social Psychology 1, 33–60 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rogers, Y., Hazlewood, W.R., Marshall, P., Dalton, N., Hertrich, S.: Ambient influence: can twinkly lights lure and abstract representations trigger behavioral change? In: Proc. UbiComp 2010, pp. 261–270 (2010)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Taylor, S.E.: Asymmetrical effects of positive and negative events: the mobilization-minimization hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin 110, 67–85 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Thaler, R.H., Sunstein, C.R.: Nudge: improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Yale University Press, New Haven (2008)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    The Wall Street Journal, What they know (2012), (retrieved December 31, 2012)
  29. 29.
    Tsai, S., Egelman, L., Cranor, L.F., Acquisti, A.: The effect of online privacy information on purchasing behavior: an experimental study. In: Proc. WEIS 2007 (2007)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Tversky, A., Kahneman, D.: The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice. Science 211(4481), 453–458 (1981)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Tversky, A., Kahneman, D.: Rational choice and the framing of decisions. J. Business 59, 251–278 (1986)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Wired, Apple says grabbing address book data is an iOS policy violation (2012), (retrieved December 31, 2012)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eun Kyoung Choe
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jaeyeon Jung
    • 1
  • Bongshin Lee
    • 1
  • Kristie Fisher
    • 3
  1. 1.Microsoft ResearchRedmondUSA
  2. 2.The Information SchoolUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Microsoft StudiosRedmondUSA

Personalised recommendations