Date of Award

May 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Information Studies


Yang Wang

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Privacy is considered one of the fundamental human rights. Researchers have been investigating privacy issues in various domains, such as our physical privacy, data privacy, privacy as a legal right, and privacy designs. In the Human-Computer Interaction field, privacy researchers have been focusing on understanding people's privacy concerns when they interact with computing systems, designing and building privacy-enhancing technologies to help people mitigate these concerns, and investigating how people's privacy perceptions and the privacy designs influence people's behaviors.

Existing privacy research has been overwhelmingly focusing on the privacy needs of end-users, i.e., people who use a system or a product, such as Internet users and smartphone users. However, as our computing systems are becoming more and more complex, privacy issues within these systems have started to impact not only the end-users but also other stakeholders, and privacy-enhancing mechanisms designed for the end-users can also affect multiple stakeholders beyond the users.

In this dissertation, I examine how different stakeholders perceive privacy-related issues and expect privacy designs to function across three application domains: online behavioral advertising, drones, and smart homes. I choose these three domains because they represent different multi-stakeholder environments with varying nature of complexity. In particular, these environments present the opportunities to study technology-mediated interpersonal relationships, i.e., the relationship between primary users (owners, end-users) and secondary users (bystanders), and to investigate how these relationships influence people's privacy perceptions and their desired ways of privacy protection.

Through a combination of qualitative, quantitative, and design methods, including interviews, surveys, participatory designs, and speculative designs, I present how multi-stakeholder considerations change our understandings of privacy and influence privacy designs. I draw design implications from the study results and guide future privacy designs to consider the needs of different stakeholders, e.g., cooperative mechanisms that aim to enhance the communication between primary and secondary users.

In addition, this methodological approach allows researchers to directly and proactively engage with multiple stakeholders and explore their privacy perceptions and expected privacy designs. This is different from what has been commonly used in privacy literature and as such, points to a methodological contribution.

Finally, this dissertation shows that when applying the theory of Contextual Integrity in a multi-stakeholder environment, there are hidden contextual factors that may alter the contextual informational norms. I present three examples from the study results and argue that it is necessary to carefully examine such factors in order to clearly identify the contextual norms. I propose a research agenda to explore best practices of applying the theory of Contextual Integrity in a multi-stakeholder environment.


Open Access

Available for download on Sunday, August 15, 2021