Toggles, Dollar Signs, and Triangles: How to (In)Effectively Convey Privacy Choices with Icons and Link Texts
CHI '21: Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 63; 1-25, May 2021 https://doi.org/10.1145/3411764.3445387
Posted: 19 Aug 2022 Last revised: 17 Sep 2022
Date Written: May 1, 2021
Increasingly, icons are being proposed to concisely convey privacy-related information and choices to users. However, complex privacy concepts can be difficult to communicate. We investigate which icons effectively signal the presence of privacy choices. In a series of user studies, we designed and evaluated icons and accompanying textual descriptions (link texts) conveying choice, opting-out, and sale of personal information—the latter an opt-out mandated by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). We identified icon-link text pairings that conveyed the presence of privacy choices without creating misconceptions, with a blue stylized toggle icon paired with “Privacy Options” performing best. The two CCPA-mandated link texts (“Do Not Sell My Personal Information” and “Do Not Sell My Info”) accurately communicated the presence of do-not sell opt-outs with most icons. Our results provide insights for the design of privacy choice indicators and highlight the necessity of incorporating user testing into policy making.
Keywords: CCPA, privacy, choice, icon design
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation