Should I Agree? Delegating Consent Decisions Beyond the Individual

Should I Agree?: Delegating Consent Decisions Beyond the Individual
Bettina Nissen, Victoria Neumann, Mateusz Andrzej Mikusz, Rory Gianni, Sarah Clinch, Chris Speed, Nigel Andrew Justin Davies
Lancaster University, 7 January 2019
Abstract
Obtaining meaningful user consent is increasingly problematic in a world of numerous, heterogeneous digital services. Current approaches (e.g. agreeing to Terms and Conditions) are rooted in the idea of individual control despite growing evidence that users do not (or cannot) exercise such control in informed ways. We consider an alternative approach whereby users can opt to delegate consent decisions to an ecosystem of third-parties including friends, experts, groups and AI entities. We present the results of a study that used a technology probe at a large festival to explore initial public responses to this reframing focusing on when and to whom users would delegate such decisions. The results reveal substantial public interest in delegating consent and identify differing preferences depending on the privacy context, highlighting the need for alternative decision mechanisms beyond the current focus on individual choice.

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