Skip to main content

Smartwatch games: Encouraging privacy-protective behaviour in a longitudinal study

Williams, Meredydd, Nurse, Jason R. C., Creese, Sadie (2019) Smartwatch games: Encouraging privacy-protective behaviour in a longitudinal study. Computers in Human Behavior, 99 . pp. 38-54. ISSN 0747-5632. (doi:10.1016/j.chb.2019.04.026) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

PDF - Author's Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 7 May 2020.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Contact us about this Publication Download (2MB)
Official URL


While the public claim concern for their privacy, they frequently appear to overlook it. This disparity between concern and behaviour is known as the Privacy Paradox. Such issues are particularly prevalent on wearable devices. These products can store personal data, such as text messages and contact details. However, owners rarely use protective features. Educational games can be effective in encouraging changes in behaviour. Therefore, we developed the first privacy game for (Android) Wear OS watches. 10 participants used smartwatches for two months, allowing their high-level settings to be monitored. Five individuals were randomly assigned to our treatment group, and they played a dynamically-customised privacy-themed game. To minimise confounding variables, the other five received the same app but lacking the privacy topic. The treatment group improved their protection, with their usage of screen locks significantly increasing (p = 0.043). In contrast, 80% of the control group continued to never restrict their settings. After the posttest phase, we evaluated behavioural rationale through semi-structured interviews. Privacy concerns became more nuanced in the treatment group, with opinions aligning with behaviour. Actions appeared influenced primarily by three factors: convenience, privacy salience and data sensitivity. This is the first smartwatch game to encourage privacy-protective behaviour.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.chb.2019.04.026
Uncontrolled keywords: Game Smartwatch Behaviour Wearable Education
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science)
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming,
T Technology
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Security Group
Faculties > Sciences > School of Engineering and Digital Arts
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Jason Nurse
Date Deposited: 13 May 2019 17:33 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 14:41 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nurse, Jason R. C.:
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year