A Self-aware Personal Assistant for Making Personalized Privacy Decisions

by   Gonul Ayci, et al.

Many software systems, such as online social networks enable users to share information about themselves. While the action of sharing is simple, it requires an elaborate thought process on privacy: what to share, with whom to share, and for what purposes. Thinking about these for each piece of content to be shared is tedious. Recent approaches to tackle this problem build personal assistants that can help users by learning what is private over time and recommending privacy labels such as private or public to individual content that a user considers sharing. However, privacy is inherently ambiguous and highly personal. Existing approaches to recommend privacy decisions do not address these aspects of privacy sufficiently. Ideally, a personal assistant should be able to adjust its recommendation based on a given user, considering that user's privacy understanding. Moreover, the personal assistant should be able to assess when its recommendation would be uncertain and let the user make the decision on her own. Accordingly, this paper proposes a personal assistant that uses evidential deep learning to classify content based on its privacy label. An important characteristic of the personal assistant is that it can model its uncertainty in its decisions explicitly, determine that it does not know the answer, and delegate from making a recommendation when its uncertainty is high. By factoring in the user's own understanding of privacy, such as risk factors or own labels, the personal assistant can personalize its recommendations per user. We evaluate our proposed personal assistant using a well-known data set. Our results show that our personal assistant can accurately identify uncertain cases, personalize them to its user's needs, and thus helps users preserve their privacy well.


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