Access Control for Home Data Sharing: Attitudes, Needs and Practices

Michelle L. Mazurek, J. P. Arsenault, Joanna Bresee, Nitin Gupta, Iulia Ion, Christina Johns, Daniel Lee, Yuan Liang, Jenny Olsen, Brandon Salmon, Richard Shay, Kami Vaniea, Lujo Bauer, Lorrie Faith Cranor, Gregory R. Ganger, Michael K. Reiter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


As digital content becomes more prevalent in the home, non-technical users are increasingly interested in sharing that content with others and accessing it from multiple devices. Not much is known about how these users think about controlling access to this data. To better understand this, we conducted semi-structured, in-situ interviews with 33 users in 15 households. We found that users create ad-hoc access-control mechanisms that do not always work; that their ideal policies are complex and multi-dimensional; that a priori policy specification is often insufficient; and that people's mental models of access control and security are often misaligned with current systems. We detail these findings and present a set of associated guidelines for designing usable access-control systems for the home environment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York, NY, USA
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-1-60558-929-9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • access control, home computing, privacy, security


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