VOME (Visualisation and Other Methods of Expression) is a three-year multi-agency project to develop a better understanding of how communities engage with online privacy tools.

Key Facts

    • The VOME project looks at how people engage with concepts of information privacy and consent when online.
    • To gain a deeper understanding of how different users feel about information disclosure and technology, VOME has developed a number of privacy awareness tools, including a card game to promote discussion about online privacy and consent, and a participatory video project to evaluate young people’s concerns.
    • The three-year project is in collaboration with consent and privacy specialists at Consult Hyperion and Sunderland City Council. Also, we are part of the Information Security Group (ISG), which also includes researchers from Royal Holloway, the University of London and Salford University.
  • Funded by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and Innovate UK.

Impact of our research

The project has worked with a wide range of communities across the UK, with our researchers focusing on young people in a wide variety of settings.

By recognising how different users engage with information disclosure, service providers and designers can create privacy awareness tools that are more inclusive and effective.

Collage of people browsing on different devices
VOME explores how communities engage with online privacy tools.

Why the research was commissioned

Understanding the concerns of all users will facilitate a better dialogue between the designers of privacy and consent functionality and their customers. It will lead to more inclusive and effective privacy awareness tools.

VOME’s research has identified a gap in education around online privacy. This issue currently forms only a small part of the general education about staying safe online, which is primarily dominated by a safeguarding agenda. Although important, this does not fully reflect the range of young people’s interests and concerns surrounding online activity.

Why Cranfield?

Our Centre for Electronic Warfare Information and Cyber examines the interactions between people, organisations and technology and its expertise includes psychology and management science, as well as systems science and information systems. It carries out research and teaching in the areas of cyber and influence, including decision management.

Its expertise shapes, adds breadth and questions traditional approaches in these areas with the aim of influencing practice and policy and delivering a real-world impact. The knowledge gained from the VOME research is of interest to online service providers, manufacturers of technology used in online services and the general community of internet users. There has been considerable interest in this project from each of these communities.