About the Project
The £1.2m EPSRC-funded CONTriVE (Control and Trust as Moderating Mechanisms in addressing Vulnerability for the Design of Business and Economic Models) is the anchor project of the HAT Living Labs (HALL).
CONTriVE's main purpose is to investigate whether and how increasing institutional concerns over the risks associated with data access, ownership, privacy and confidentiality are reflected in the perceptions of individual users.
CONTriVE will establish a new programme of research in digital economy by understanding how individual subjective perceptions of users with regard to cybersecurity relate to organisational and institutional views on cybersecurity. By gaining this understanding, we seek to develop new business models that would allow businesses to minimise individual perceptions of vulnerability with regard to issues of privacy, security, and trust. Ultimately, the focus is on how companies can design products and services that address an individual’s vulnerability.
What CONTriVE aims to do
- Test for individuals’ perception of vulnerability for a set of digital purchases under conditions of low control and low/high trust and vice versa (with institutional perception of individual vulnerability as low and communicated to be low)
- Test for individuals’ perception of vulnerability for a set of digital purchases under conditions of low control and low/high trust and vice versa (with institutional perception of individual vulnerability as high and communicated to be high)
- Redesign Service on the HAT (Hub-of-All-Things), where individuals own and control their own data and re‐test for individuals’ perception of vulnerability in live environment as indicated above.
- Create business model design principles from the perceived control and trust mechanisms that can be used by businesses to de‐risk business model innovation.
- Support the production of new product/service offerings ‘in the wild’ that can help mitigate individuals’ perceived vulnerability requirements.
- Develop policy recommendations for regulators.
CONTriVE goes beyond a simple understanding of user technology consumption patterns and economic outcomes through use data. We aim to create impact by working with users, businesses, and policy makers. We will engage users directly (by recruiting them for experimental studies) and indirectly (through outreach to the wider HAT community and general public). Our proposed research will improve user decision‐making by applying social‐science concepts and principles to HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) and HDI (Human Data Interaction) problems.
At the same time, CONTriVE will make new contributions to theory in decision science and service systems, by understanding how perceived vulnerability is used by decision makers, how it can be reduced to allow for making more optimal decisions in the future, and how providers can understand vulnerability to better serve the users through development of new products and services.
Our research has impact at three levels:
User Level: We will model and quantify how well users perceive privacy risks, and the interaction between vulnerability and trust, vulnerability and security, vulnerability and control, and vulnerability and privacy. This will provide a much deeper understanding of the importance of perceived vulnerability amongst different users in different contexts, and help overcome the gross over‐simplification of the problem addressed by purely technical solutions.
Business Level: We will explore how different cybersecurity protocols and disclosure mechanisms can impact the levels of user‐perceived control and vulnerability. We will also investigate how businesses can present cybersecurity information to enable better user choice (i.e., how businesses can nudge users into making better and more informed decisions) and explore the development of a privacy index.
Policy Level: We will investigate how we can learn from the well‐developed laws, regulations and social conventions around privacy between users and groups of users, and apply this to decrease self‐perceived vulnerability.