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D3.3: Study on Mobile Identity Management

Studies on Usability of P3P for Mobile Phones  Study on Mobile Identity Management


Identity Management Mock-ups for Mobile Phones

The problems encountered while adjusting the PRIME mock-ups made for computer screens to mobile phones have to do with the mobile’s smaller screen. It could easily cause the user to lose sight over the program. For the mock-ups an Ericsson P900 was used, which has a 208x320 pixel screen which measures 4 x 4 cm folded and 4 x 6.1 cm unfolded. This is a large screen in comparison to, for example, the T610 which has a 128x160 pixel screen, but is still smaller than a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant, e.g. PalmPilot).

From a user’s perspective the identity management (IDM) function might be quite secondary to the task the user tries to perform, but there is a risk that ‘full’ IDM windows cover the entire screen (menus for example, see Figure 4-2). A comprehensive presentation of IDM controls will hide the other controls and also hide system feedback that might be relevant and even necessary for the user to understand what he is doing.  

The mock-ups were constructed to explore graphically how severe this problem may be and to visualise possible remedies. The interaction elements designed for the PRIME web user interfaces were used, but because of the lack of room, some information texts were shortened. Hyper linking and scrolling was also suggested in the mock-ups. This way the texts are not visible in total but the user may be less disoriented. 

Figure 4-2: The PRIME menu in a 4 cm x 6 cm display 


Preference settings form: all information cannot be shown in the same window but this may not be very detrimental if users utilise a desktop computer to make the preliminary settings.

Browser view: not much information can be given simultaneously with the browser window; there is very little room in the browser to show both the preference set’s icon or name and an intelligible indication of the present linkability (anonymity) setting.

Send data: when sending data, there is a risk that the terms are not displayed in a comprehensive and comprehensible way (note the introduction to this chapter about how crucial a comprehensible presentation is for user’s motivation to use secondary functionality). The data transmission might be controlled via a special consent dialogue evoked when data is to be sent. Figure 4-3 shows the “Send data?”-window adapted from the PRIME user interface (Pettersson, 2004b). Figure 4-4 on the other hand shows a service provider’s web or WAP page with an example of the “short privacy notice” recently suggested by Article 29 Data Protection Working Party (2004; text adapted from the computer-screen size example in their Appendix 1). Note that in this example it is up to the service provider “Euro Company” to identify themselves. The Working Party argues for the “Acceptance of short notices as legally acceptable within a multi-layered structure that, in its totality, offers compliance.” It moreover refers to research stressing not only the need for easily understandable policy notices but also research demonstrating user preference for the layered approach.

Figure 4-3: “Send data?”- window adopted from PRIME 

Figure 4-4: Short privacy notice from Article 29 DPWP 

Figure 4-5: Pop-up when data is to be sent 


Figure 4-4 indicates that the short notices have to be very short to fit snugly into a mobile interface. Possibly, data controller could be left out because this should be obvious from the page framing, but, admittedly, this is a matter of debate. The link to the more complete layer(s) would need to be in a conspicuous place, at least a place that is conspicuous when any ‘I agree’ button is visible (which it is not in this figure). An alternative solution would be to allow for smaller pop-ups, which is shown in figure 4-5 and which is in agreement with the working party’s suggestion for cases “when individuals are already aware” (ibid.). Yet another alternative could be elaborated around expandable texts within a very short notice; note the discussion in section 4.1 about linking phrases to explanations or to user definition menus (Pettersson, 2004). This will be especially important in cases when fair processing demand more information than only the identity of the data controller and the purpose of the data processing.

In the PRIME solution, the PRIME user-side system may take control of the data transmission and therefore also the information presentation. This may allow for better tailoring. Otherwise the graphical layout of information must be evaluated in all cases and it must be possible for the service provider’s system to know what the presentation preferences of the user are. 


Studies on Usability of P3P for Mobile Phones  fidis-wp3-del3.3.study_on_mobile_identity_management.final_04.sxw  Summary
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