Deep Cover HCI

Williamson, J. R. and Sunden, D. (2015) Deep Cover HCI. In: CHI EA 15: 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 18-23 Apr 2015, pp. 543-554. ISBN 9781450331463 (doi: 10.1145/2702613.2732500)

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The growing popularity of methodologies that turn "to the wild" for real world data creates new ethical issues for the HCI community. For investigations questioning interactions in public or transient spaces, crowd interaction, or natural behaviour, uncontrolled and uninfluenced (by the experimenter) experiences represent the ideal evaluation environment. We argue that covert research can be completed rigorously and ethically to expand our knowledge of ubiquitous technologies. Our approach, which we call Deep Cover HCI, utilises technology-supported observation in public spaces to stage completely undisturbed experiences for evaluation. We complete studies without informed consent and without intervention from an experimenter in order to gain new insights into how people use technology in public settings. We argue there is clear value in this approach, reflect on the ethical issues of such investigations, and describe our ethical guidelines for completing Deep Cover HCI Research.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Williamson, Dr Julie and Sunden, Mr Daniel
Authors: Williamson, J. R., and Sunden, D.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 ACM
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
652931Spherical Interaction for Public Spaces (SIPS)Julie WilliamsonEngineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/M002675/1COM - COMPUTING SCIENCE