POST 5: Approaches to design for change, design-led ethnography

My interview focused on understanding people’s knowledge of, and responses to online privacy. In both interviews I began by asking my respondents what steps they took to protect their privacy. This simple question highlighted the dichotomy of online privacy; with one user saying they took a number of steps and the other saying they took none. Interestingly the respondent who did nothing simply stated that it was not worth the effort, as they felt their personal data would be collected no matter what. Following on from this, I also asked both interviewees about their opinion of data collection. In this instance both respondents stated that they had never really considered the implications of ubiquitous data collection, with both indicating they were against it in principal but were yet to have any negative experiences with it. The idea that people are generally unaware about their privacy and the information they contribute to digital systems is something I explored further in my probe.

Visitor and resident mapping provides a framework to analyse the myriad of ways that people engage with technology. Unlike other models, V&R mapping does not seek to label people with fundamental identities. Instead, it aims to identify the modes of behaviour and the motivations behind our use of technology (White & Lanclos 2015). To show this, participants are required to plot their online activity on a two dimensional axis. The y-axis provides a space to illustrate the distinctions between public and private activities, while the x-axis proves a space for participants to reflect on the visibility of their actions (White & Lanclos 2015).  Visibility is measured on a scale from resident to visitor. A resident is someone who maintains an active profile within an online platform by creating content and contributing to the discussion. A visitor is someone with little visibility within the platform they are using (University of Hull 2015). Visitors see the web as a tool, and thus only engage with it when a need arises.

Post 5, image 1
One of the V&R maps returned from my probe

Above is an example of an annotated visitor and resident map. In this instance the author has adhered to the common practice of situating social media platforms towards the resident side of the axis. Interestingly, the respondent has placed Twitter closer to the visitor end of the spectrum, annotating that they use it to follow the activity of others, but rarely engage in the conversation themselves. Likewise, YouTube is placed at the visitor end of the scale, with the author stating they watch content, but do not create their own or comment on others. Resident platforms like these are able to occupy a variety of locations due to the differing modes of engagement and motivations of their users. The discrepancies between intended and actual use was something I was interested in, and was able to gather information on using the V&R framework. V&R mapping was useful in this instance as it provided a rigid enough structure to return comparable results, while also allowing for enough freedom to uncover interesting insights. With that being said, it would have been good to get more respondents to complete the activity. Having a larger collection of datasets would allow for better comparisons of the ways that people interact with technology.

  • People are generally either highly aware, or ignorant of how much data is collected about them by digital systems.
  • Most people are unaware of what their personal information is used for.
  • It is hard for even the most careful individuals to avoid having their data collected online.
  • The majority of people do not understand the commercial value of their personal information.
  • Seemingly meaningless data can be quickly and easily assembled to form a detailed picture of an individual.

Reference list

University of Hull 2015, Mapping your own digital world, viewed 24 August 2016, <>.

White, D. & Lanclos, D. 2015, Visitors and residents mapping workshop, viewed 24 August 2016, <>.



Blog Post 2 Online Privacy Scholarly Sources


Tweens’ Online Privacy Risks and the Role of Parental Mediation.

The internet, now accessible from pocket-sized devices and integrated with our daily lives, can no longer be considered separate from the “real world”

The first peer reviewed article i chose is called “Tweens’ Online Privacy Risks and the Role of Parental Mediation”, this article expands on a few of the trends of young adults and the use of multimedia or social networks. There are several authors of this journal with the most profound of which being Wonsun Shin, who is a researcher in Broadcasting and multimedia information, this author has written and researched on several other Online privacy related issues, and holds the position that increased levels of parental mediation should be implemented when regulating how much young adults or children are exposed to Online social networks and multimedia websites.

With the primary led research data used to correlate the authors perspectives on the issues, the evidence is clear in support of the idea of increased parental control over their children exposure to multimedia Online, with studies aimed at the comparisons between children who are allowed free reign over their social networks and those who have parental mediation, the evidence in this case shows intervention is paramount to reducing the risks of unwanted data theft or identity exposure. Shin (2016) says that “A survey with U.S. teens revealed 52% of Online teenagers have disclosed-personal information to someone they did not personally know and 25% of them have shared personal photos/physical descriptions of themselves Online”. This data is an indication of the naivety of young people on the Internet, and how unassuming they can be in regards to security.

I would agree to an extent with the ideas behind this journal and the research data that has risen from their investigations, i believe that children should have limited networks they’re allowed to browse without a chaperone, however everyone including children and others that use social networks and other multimedia outlets need to be aware of the risks of giving out personal information Online, and should never do so unless a guarantee for the second part has been placed in a legally binding agreement of anonymity. With relations to children the levels of mediation from parents needs to adjust with the levels of online communication mediums that children are exposed to, “The inability to regulate all forms of online disclosures, along with the increasing online communication activities and information sharing among children, places greater responsibility on parents to supervise their children’s online activities” ( Cited in Shin 2012 p. 3 )

Predicting Facebook users’ online privacy protection: Risk, trust, norm focus theory, and the theory of planned behaviour.

The second journal i chose is called “Predicting Facebook Users’ Online Privacy Protection:Risk, Trust, Norm Focus Theory, and the Theory of Planned Behaviour”, this journal goes into intricate detail about the behavioural conditioning of selective groups of Facebooks users and their patterns of behaviour in regards to their trust and use of Online social networks. This journal is published by several researchers from Queensland, most of which are in the field of social psychology.

The research that has been conducted was based on the observation of multiple parties and their normal use of Online media, this information can be taken as a legitimate due to the official nature of the researchers and the university’s they’re partnered with. I would agree with the research that suggests Online privacy has found with negative associations between trust and privacy protection. The link between developing negative behavioural patterns once abused by Online privacy violations has shown to be counter productive for future patterns of Online multimedia use.

“Trust underpins any positive relationship; it is the willingness of one party to act or speak in such a manner that they are made more vulnerable to the other party (Cozby, Cited in K. Saeri, 2013). The use of person information sets a precedent to the behaviour of certain parties when using social networks, if one party has been on the negative end of data theft, they are likely to develop patterns in mistrust when regarding Online social mediums. When trying to understanding the complexities of mass data retention and analytics, you must also pay attention to the patterns of behaviour of those who use multimedia channels once exposed to the negatives of personal data abuse or mistrust.


Dunn, A. (2016). Online Privacy/. [image] Available at: [Accessed 10 Aug. 2016].

Saeri, A., Ogilvie, C., La Macchia, S., Smith, J. and Louis, W. (2014). Predicting Facebook Users’ Online Privacy Protection: Risk, Trust, Norm Focus Theory, and the Theory of Planned Behavior. The Journal of Social Psychology, 154(4), pp.352-369.

Shin, W., Huh, J. and Faber, R. (2012). Tweens’ Online Privacy Risks and the Role of Parental Mediation. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56(4), pp.632-649.