Can Privacy be ‘Satisfying’ too? Paper accepted at CHI 2019

Pervasive photo sharing in online social media platforms can cause unintended privacy violations when elements of an image reveal sensitive information. Prior studies have identified image obfuscation methods (e.g., blurring) to enhance privacy, but many of these methods adversely affect viewers’ satisfaction with the photo, which may cause people to avoid using them. We study the novel hypothesis that it may be possible to restore viewers’ satisfaction by ‘boosting’ or enhancing the aesthetics of an obscured image, thereby compensating for the negative effects of a privacy transform. Using a between-subjects online experiment, we studied the effects of three artistic transformations on images that had objects obscured using three popular obfuscation methods validated by prior research. Our findings suggest that using artistic transformations can mitigate some negative effects of obfuscation methods, but more exploration is needed to retain viewer satisfaction.

Read more about it in our CHI 2019 paper.