A Visualization Interface to Improve the Transparency of Collected Personal Data on the Internet

AutorSchufrin, Marija; Reynolds, Steven Lamarr; Kuijper, Arjan; Kohlhammer, Jörn
ArtJournal Article
AbstraktOnline services are used for all kinds of activities, like news, entertainment, publishing content or connecting with others. But information technology enables new threats to privacy by means of global mass surveillance, vast databases and fast distribution networks. Current news are full of misuses and data leakages. In most cases, users are powerless in such situations and develop an attitude of neglect for their online behaviour. On the other hand, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) gives users the right to request a copy of all their personal data stored by a particular service, but the received data is hard to understand or analyze by the common internet user. This paper presents Transparency Vis - a web-based interface to support the visual and interactive exploration of data exports from different online services. With this approach, we aim at increasing the awareness of personal data stored by such online services and the effects of online behaviour. This design study provides an online accessible prototype and a best practice to unify data exports from different sources.