MAS 963  ·  Designing Sociable Media  ·  Spring 2007

04.26 Privacy with ubiquitous media

In our last session we looked at designs for public displays of social network information - not only public in the sense that they were viewable by many, but also that they were viewable in public places.
This week I would like you to think about the privacy issues inherent to such a project.


Langheinrich, M.    Privacy by design-principles of privacy-aware ubiquitous systems. In Proceedings of Ubicomp, 2001: Springer.


  • Read the paper.
    We still have several of last week's assignments to review. For this week, re-evaluate your own project (and, if you would like, one of your classmate's) in light of today's reading. In doing so, think about the following questions:
  • What is meant by "notice"? What should designers be giving notice of? What are some potential designs for such notice? What do you think of Langheinrich's idea of a building that would "make an announcement for all of the devices that are installed inside"? For your project, is the notion of "notice" relevant? If so, how? and how would you design for it?
  • What is meant by consent? What are the things people need to consent to in a system such as yours? How would they do this?
  • Your previous assignment involved assuming that people would broadcast some sort of identification. Does this need to be their name? Does it need to uniquely identify them - and if not, what does it do instead?
  • We spoke of being able to sense through walls where our friends or compatible future acquaintences were located. How does this change the concept of local, of present? Think about it in terms of visibility - what does changing visibility do to the concept of walls?

Please link your work by Thursday morning.