“You offer privacy like you offer tea”: Investigating Mechanisms for Improving Guest Privacy in IoT-Equipped Households

Authors: Karola Marky (Leibniz University Hannover and University of Glasgow), Nina Gerber (Technical University of Darmstadt), Michelle Gabriela Pelzer (Technical University of Darmstadt), Mohamed Khamis (University of Glasgow), Max Mühlhäuser (Technical University of Darmstadt)

Volume: 2022
Issue: 4
Pages: 400–420
DOI: https://doi.org/10.56553/popets-2022-0115

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Abstract: IoT devices are becoming more common and prevalent in private households. Since guests can be present in IoT-equipped households, IoT devices can pose considerable privacy risks to them. In this paper, we present an in-depth evaluation of privacy protection for guests considering the perspectives of hosts and guests. First, we interviewed 21 IoT device owners about four classes of mechanisms obtained from the literature and social aspects. Second, we conducted an online survey (N=264) that investigates the perspective of guests in IoT-equipped households. From our results, we learn that protection mechanisms should not introduce privacy threats and require low resources. Further, hosts should keep control over their devices and the aesthetics of their living spaces. Guests, however, value feedback about the status of privacy protection which can interfere with aesthetics. Privacy protection should rather foster collaboration and not impact the visit of the guest too severely. We use our results to identify a design space for guest privacy protection in IoT-equipped households.

Keywords: IoT Privacy, Bystander Privacy, Privacy Protection Mechanisms

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