On January 15, 2016 the research project PrivacyGuard (PGuard) was launched. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. It is implemented by the Quadriga University of Applied Sciences, Berlin under the supervision of Prof Dr Christian Thorun. The aim of PGuard is to support consumers’ data security within smartphone-apps.
Together with the spread of smartphones, the number of installed smartphone-apps increased rapidly over the past years. On the one hand, these apps simplify daily life. On the other hand, they retrieve certain risks with respect to the usage of personal data. A current poll indicates that the majority of consumers expects to be at large risk of their data being misused. In fact, it is often unclear how data is used and the consumer himself does not receive transparent information on access rights of installed apps.
Therefore, the PGuard-App aims at supporting consumers’ data security by developing an intuitive app and webpage. Specifically, Professor Thorun at Quadriga University focusses on optimizing the usability of the PGuard-App. Furthermore, improving transparency for consumers stands in the centre of investigation. Therefore, a method that links individual risk profiles to consumers will be developed by conducting behavioural studies. On this basis the PGuard-App allows an risk evaluation of installed apps and is able to recommend efficient decisions. Accordingly, consumers may then de-install certain apps or restrict their access if they do not fit their risk preferences.
Further project partners include the Association for Self-Regulation in the Information Economy (SRIW), Berlin, mediaTest digital GmbH, Hannover, and the Institute for Applied Informatics (InfAI) e.V., Leipzig University.