An interactive experience that exposes the role of data brokers.
Design an experience that ensures everyone has the knowledge to control who has access to their data.
By playing the role of a data broker, the user discovers the exploitative practices through in-game decisions, compelling them to take greater agency over their personal data.
I met with experts to gain a picture of the current privacy landscape, with one suggesting that most people only take action after a negative personal experience.
By observing people’s behaviour when navigating privacy-related tasks like consenting to data collection, it became clear that almost all participants found it hard to evaluate the choices they were making.
From my findings, I drew two main insights. Firstly, for people to take action, they first need to understand the problem. Secondly, people take action after they are negatively affected.
To tackle the barrier of gaining knowledge, I used the storytelling and decision-making mechanics of games. The concept was to put the user in the shoes of a data broker to learn through doing.
While the first few prototypes conveyed the message eventually, the interface was too complex, distracting from what data brokers are doing. I simplified the UI and storyline to make it clearer.
I wanted the largest amount of people to experience the game for themselves and with a large number of possible decisions, I decided to code the final prototype.
Testing how effective the prototype was at encouraging players to take action, I interviewed participants. Asking them a series of set questions before and after the experience to gauge the difference.