Still Creepy After All These Years:The Normalization of Affective Discomfort in App Use

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It is not well understood why people continue to use privacy-invasive apps they consider creepy. We conducted a scenario-based study (n = 751) to investigate how the intention to use an app is influenced by affective perceptions and privacy concerns. We show that creepiness is one facet of affective discomfort, which is becoming normalized in app use. We found that affective discomfort can be negatively associated with the intention to use a privacy-invasive app. However, the influence is mitigated by other factors, including data literacy, views regarding app data practices, and ambiguity of the privacy threat. Our findings motivate a focus on affective discomfort when designing user experiences related to privacy-invasive data practices. Treating affective discomfort as a fundamental aspect of user experience requires scaling beyond the point where the thumb meets the screen and accounting for entrenched data practices and the sociotechnical landscape within which the practices are embedded.

TitelCHI 2022 - Proceedings of the 2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
ForlagAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781450391573
StatusUdgivet - 2022
Begivenhed2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2022 - Virtual, Online, USA
Varighed: 30 apr. 20225 maj 2022


Konference2022 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2022
ByVirtual, Online

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We thank the study participants for their time and efort. We are grateful to the anonymous reviewers whose feedback helped improve the paper. We acknowledge the Center of Excellence for Women & Technology at Indiana University Bloomington for enabling Emily Swiatek’s participation in the research. The research described in this paper is partially supported by a grant (#CNS-1845626) from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The contents of the paper are the work of the authors and do not necessarily refect the views of the sponsors.

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