Today, especially on smartphones, a large amount of data is collected, either automatically through the use of certain apps and services or explicitly by the user providing such data. Although smartphones need to request permission from the user in advance to access data, users are often unaware of how much and what data they disclose as part of their smartphone usage. One reason for this could be that users have too little knowledge about privacy risks and therefore see no need to protect their data. However, other users do express concerns about their privacy, but may not have the necessary knowledge about how to protect their privacy. To help these two user groups protect their privacy, the Android-based FoxIT app was developed.
FoxIT is an app that offers courses and lessons on various topics related to privacy. It provides both background knowledge, e.g. on the legal basis and technical conditions, and explains what users can actually do to protect their privacy in various application areas. At the end of each course the acquired knowledge can be tested in a short quiz. Additionally, there is the possibility to scan the smartphone, which gives the user a summary of all permissions requested by the currently installed apps with regard to potentially privacy critical content. The focus of the app is on the transfer of knowledge. In order to increase user motivation, various additional gamification elements have been integrated, for example the user can win trophies or unlock animations for the integrated mascot, a fox.
The app can be downloaded here:
- Official Google Play Store (Feel free to provide feedback, see contact. We would be pleased to receive a positive rating if you like the app)
- If you are interested in the development of apps or the source code, you can find it at GitHub.
FoxIT: Enhancing Mobile Users’ Privacy Behavior by Increasing Knowledge and Awareness: Nina Gerber, Paul Gerber, Hannah Drews, Elisa Kirchner, Noah Schlegel, Tim Schmidt, Lena Scholz. In: Workshop on Socio-Technical Aspects in Security and Trust (STAST), 2017.