Usable Security of Emerging Healthcare Technologies for Seniors

Principal Investigator(s): 
Alisa Frik

Older adults (65+) are becoming primary users of technologies, including emerging smart systems, especially in health care. However, such technologies are often not designed for older users and can pose serious privacy and security concerns due to their novelty, complexity, and propensity to collect vast amounts of sensitive information. Efforts to address such concerns must build on an in-depth understanding of older adults’ perceptions and preferences about data privacy and security for these technologies—including variance based on, e.g., degree of physical or cognitive impairment. our research aims to better understand privacy and security attitudes of the population aged 65+ as users of emerging technologies, especially in healthcare domain. The ultimate purpose of this research is to inform the design of effective systems that will empower older adults to make informed decisions, to have better control over their personal data, and to maintain better security practices. 

The researchers have already conducted semi-structured interviews with 47 older adults.They identify their common security and privacy concerns and threat models, behaviors and strategies to mitigate  perceived risks, usability issues with current protections, learning and troubleshooting approaches, and misconceptions and blind spots regarding security and privacy. Finally, building on the preferences of older adults, the researchers offer privacy- and security-enhancing recommendations for developers, education and awareness program designers and executors, and policymakers.
 

Collaborative research with UC Berkeley. ICSI funding provided by the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment. UC Berkeley funding provided by Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC).