Florian Schaub awarded NSF grant on privacy policies

Did you read the privacy policy when you downloaded Pokemon GO? If you clicked “I agree” on the consent form for your newest app, do you know what you even agreed to? The trouble with many privacy policies is that most readers don’t read them or can’t understand them when they try.

UMSI Assistant Professor Florian Schaub is tackling user-friendly privacy notice formats through his research. In conjunction with Carnegie Mellon University, the National Science Foundation has awarded Professor Schaub $36,625 for his grant, “TWC SBE: Option: Frontier: Collaborative: Towards Effective Web Privacy Notice and Choice.” 

Evidence shows that most privacy policies are long, verbose and vague. The unintended consequence is that most users ignore these documents. Schaub’s research team will contribute to the development of privacy notice solutions that are tailored to the end-user and participate in user studies that inform the privacy notice and control solutions. 

His team will be working under Carnegie Mellon University’s nearly $3 million grant. This collaborative project hopes to develop an automatic way of scouring these policies in order to deliver the information in an easy-to-digest format that empowers the users of these apps, games, and software to make more informed privacy decisions. 

 Posted January 5, 2017