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This brief historical review should have convinced the reader that privacy is a very dynamic construct, and that design for privacy is a function of social and technological contexts, which vary over time. Against this backdrop, we next survey the research landscape of privacy in HCI.

3 Understanding, Building and Evaluating Privacy in Interactive Systems

In this section, we survey HCI privacy literature, organized according to threads of research on specific topics, such as mobile computing or identity management. Privacy research in the HCI field has seen a surge starting in the early 1990’s and is now booming. The increased interest in privacy within HCI is also testified by countless workshops at HCI conferences, and the recent creation of conferences like SOUPS (Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security).

Figure 1 depicts our view of the evolution of HCI privacy research between 1970 and 2006. Each line represents a particular subfield, defined as a timeline of related work (e.g., location-enhanced technologies privacy). Beneath each line, we provide a sample of salient studies (which are referenced in the bibliography). Note that the intent is not to provide an exhaustive listing of references, but to illustrate with select references the scope of each line of research.

The figure clearly shows the dichotomy between personal privacy research and data protection, described above in Section 2.2.2. The picture also shows shaded regions (see Section 2.3):

the non-discretionary era of centralized personal data management (1960-1980);

the period of informational self-determination (1980-2000);

the more recent developments towards implicit interaction and behavioral analysis of users with respect to privacy concerns (2000 to present).

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