[Privacy] Managing Privacy Today

Interesting point of discussion in the ubicomp class this morning, how do people already manage their privacy today? And how can these be applied to ubicomp systems. Some ideas off the top of my head:


  • Leaning over and whispering to somebody (or lowering your voice in general, or moving to a separate corner or outside to limit who can hear what you say)
  • Letting voice mail or answering machine get the phone call
  • Turning off cell phone
  • Closing a door to have a private conversation
  • How we dress (more along Goffman lines of how we present ourselves)
  • Watching what we say and disclose to others
  • White lies
  • Hiding in some cafe
  • Invisible mode with instant messenger (some of my friends are always in invisible mode these days...)
  • Sitting in certain places to avoid letting people see what's on your laptop
  • Avoiding certain places where friends are (or enemies as it may be)
  • Asking people directly not to disclose something ("Don't tell anyone else, but...")
  • Not looking people in the eye when walking down the street
  • Hiding a diary or other highly personal mementos

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