Identity and privacy in a hyper-connected world: Applying participatory design methods with young users

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Pervasive technologies which allow us to be constantly connected to the online world, together with the multitude of online platforms that are available to interact with others, is rapidly changing our notion of identity. Individuals have the ability to possess multiple overlapping identities to suit different forms of interaction, selecting attributes of their self-concept they are willing to share in that particular environment. With our ever growing online presence we can no longer consider these multiple identities in isolation, but must also consider how these seemingly separate aspects of our online and offline selves may link together to provide a ‘core identity’. However, our understanding of attitudes about online identity disclosure and concerns about privacy with regard to such an interconnected social environment is less developed, particularly in younger populations. We describe a series of interactive workshops run with a cohort of 13-18 year olds which examined this group’s attitudes, behavioural patterns and concerns on privacy and identity information. The workshops used value-sensitive design and co-design methods to facilitate discussion across a range of online and offline spaces. Through this approach we were able to provide tangible examples, such as drawing and design tasks, of relatively abstract and hypothetical concepts of identity. This enabled the cohort to more thoroughly articulate their attitudes and experiences around different online interaction mediums as a whole. We suggest employing participatory design methods provides a richer understanding of how young users perceive and utilise information disclosure and privacy practices across a range of communication technologies. Finally, we discuss possible avenues of research which apply this methodology to examine the acceptability of practices that collate and use identity information in online and offline environments.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event1st Annual Cyberpsychology Conference - Leicester, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Sept 2013 → …


Conference1st Annual Cyberpsychology Conference
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom
Period19/09/13 → …


Dive into the research topics of 'Identity and privacy in a hyper-connected world: Applying participatory design methods with young users'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this