I saw images I didn't even know I had: Understanding user perceptions of cloud storage privacy

Jason W. Clarky, Peter Snyder, Damon Mccoyy, Chris Kanich

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


    More than a billion people use cloud-based storage for personal files. While many are likely aware of the extent to which they store information in the cloud, it is unclear whether users are fully aware of what they are storing online. We recruited 30 research subjects from Craigslist to investigate how users interact with and understand the privacy issues of cloud storage. We studied this phenomenon through surveys, an interview, and custom software which lets users see and delete their photos stored in the cloud. We found that a majority of users stored private photos in the cloud that they did not intend to upload, and a large portion also chose to permanently delete some of the offending images. We believe our study highlights a mismatch between user expectation and reality. As cloud storage is plentiful and ubiquitous, effective tools for enabling risk self-assessment are necessary to protect users' privacy.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationCHI 2015 - Proceedings of the 33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
    Subtitle of host publicationCrossings
    PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
    Number of pages4
    ISBN (Electronic)9781450331456
    StatePublished - Apr 18 2015
    Event33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015 - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
    Duration: Apr 18 2015Apr 23 2015

    Publication series

    NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


    Other33rd Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2015
    Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of


    • Cloud
    • Privacy
    • Security
    • Threat modeling

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Software
    • Human-Computer Interaction
    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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