The focus of my published research has been consent, in particular the ways in which the concept might be rethought in order to be useful within the context of future systems.
Why is this important? Well, the developing complexity and decreasing visibility of pervasive computing systems, coupled with increasing value and sensitivity of personal data mean that it no longer makes sense to assume users capable of making informed decisions in a single moment. In particular, the sensitivity of contextual data, and the potential harms associated with inferences made on the basis of that data, highlight the need to revisit our design principles in respect of consent.
As we embrace an Internet of Things (IoT), where multiple connected devices can come to ‘know’ us in quite intimate ways, supporting user understanding and securing valid consent becomes ever more a pressing concern.
With this in mind, my research explores the changing nature of consent, its value, and asks how can we might design for these emerging contexts.