Two papers accetped for our work with app developers with children

We are super excited that two research papers led by Ani have been accepted by CSCW'23 and IMWUT'23:

  • How Should We Support Designing Privacy-Friendly Apps for Children? Using a Research through Design Process to Understand Developers’ Needs and Challenges. CSCW'23
  • Navigating the Data Avalanche: Towards Supporting Developers in Developing Privacy-Friendly Children’s Apps”. In Proceedings of the ACM on Interactive, Mobile, Wearable and Ubiquitous Technologies (IMWUT).

In the RtD paper, we explored a novel research method - RtD - to carry out co-design with 20 children’s app developers to understand their needs and requirements when designing app for children. Through this process, we identified a number of specific technical requirements from the participants about how they would like to be supported, such as having actionable transnational design guidelines and easy-to-use development libraries. However, participants were reluctant to adopt these design ideas in their development practices due to perceived financial risks associated with increased privacy in apps.

To overcome this critical gap, participants formulated several socio-technical requirements that extend to other stakeholders in the mobile industry, including parents and marketplaces. Our findings provide important immediate and long-term design opportunities for the HCI community, and indicate that support for changing app developers’ practices must be designed in the context of their relationship with other stakeholders.

In the IMWUT paper, we are very excited to present our web-based tool - - to support app developers in navigating the privacy and legal implications associated with common third-party libraries/SDKs on the market. Our recent research has shown that app developers for children are particularly struggling with the lack of support in navigating the complex market of third-party SDKs link. However, the support needed for developers to build privacy-friendly apps is largely understudied.

Through semi-structured interviews with 12 app developers for children, we demonstrate that app developers largely perceive the transparency supported by our tool positively. However, they raised several barriers, including the challenges of adopting privacy-friendly alternatives and the struggle to safeguard their own legal interests when facing the imbalance of power in the app market. The study provided crucial inputs to our understanding of the open challenges and barriers faced by app developers in creating privacy-friendly apps for children and provide critical future design and policy directions.

Both papers are to be presented in October 2023 and will appear in arxiv shortly.