Sign In

Communications of the ACM


Metrics for Success: Why and How to Evaluate Privacy Choice Usability

figures in work-related tasks or settings, illustration

Credit: Visual Generation

Privacy regulations around the world frequently include requirements for websites and apps to obtain informed consent from users prior to collecting, processing, or sharing their personal information, or to provide easy opportunities for users to opt-out of certain uses of their data. This has led to a proliferation of privacy choice and consent interfaces, many of which provide consent opportunities that are hardly informed, frequently difficult to find and use,5 and all-too-often deceptive.7

Examples of bad privacy choice and consent mechanisms are easy to find, and figure prominently in recent regulatory actions. Cookie consent banners frequently nudge users to accept all cookies by making that choice most prominent and requiring users to follow a link to a secondary interface if they want to take any other action.2 In December 2022, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission secured two settlements with Fortnite video game creator Epic Games, totaling $520 million in fines and refunds due to a number of violations, including some related to deceptive interface design. Among other problems, the FTC explained, "Fortnite's counterintuitive, inconsistent, and confusing button configuration led players to incur unwanted charges based on the press of a single button."3


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.