Designing for Social Technologies: Responsible Privacy Design

The internet has evolved into a social gathering place in which users no longer just consume online content but actively generate, curate, disseminate, and reshape it across various platforms. People are benefitting from advances in online social technologies through increased access to people, goods, and information in social, professional, commercial, and even civil realms.

However, some people also experience negative social consequences, such as information overload, misinformation, increased pressure to be responsive, and cyberbullying. Worries about encountering these consequences are characterized as social privacy concerns; this includes psychological threats, pressure to interact with others, unwelcome influences on character development/opinion formation, or otherwise feeling unsafe in an online environment.

Research shows that many users decrease or stop their use of online platforms because of social privacy concerns. This is leading to a new digital divide between those who use and benefit from online technologies and those who limit their engagement with these platforms because of social privacy barriers.

We argue that, as a community of UX designers and research scientists, we have the opportunity and the ethical responsibility to understand and design for overcoming social privacy barriers. This website is dedicated to finding new ways forward to more responsible UX design.