Indiana University Bloomington

Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering

Technical Report TR724:
Too Much Too Late: Influence of risk communication on Android App installations

Prashanth Rajivan & Jean Camp, School of Informatics and Computing
(Feb 2016), 12 pages
Transmission of personally identifiable information from smartphone apps has become ubiquitous as smartphones themselves. Privacy controls currently provided in the form of permissions warnings falls insufficient especially for communicating risk during app installation. Priming for privacy and showing easy to understand risk cues could help people make low risk app choices. Towards this, we conducted a user experiment with 480 participants who made a series of app choices with/without privacy priming and with/without risk communicating cues. Overall, presenting risk communicating cues along with app benefits has a significant effect on user app choices in terms of risk-benefit tradeoff. We found that priming for privacy would lead to increased concern while choosing apps but may not have a strong effect on final app choices when combined with certain types of risk cue framing. We conclude with recommendations for improving risk communication in Android.

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