The following paper will be presented at CSCW 2017 (20th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing) in Portland, Oregon, USA, February 25 – March 1, 2017.
This qualitative study examines privacy practices and concerns among contributors to open collaboration projects.
We collected interview data from people who use the anonymity network Tor who also contribute to online projects and from Wikipedia editors who are concerned about their privacy to better understand how privacy concerns impact participation in open collaboration projects. We found that risks perceived by contributors to open collaboration projects include threats of surveillance, violence, harassment, opportunity loss, reputation loss, and fear for loved ones. We explain participants’ operational and technical strategies for mitigating these risks and how
these strategies affect their contributions. Finally, we discuss chilling effects associated with privacy loss, the need for open collaboration projects to go beyond attracting and educating participants to consider their privacy, and some of the social and technical approaches that could be explored to mitigate risk at a project or community level.
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16 pages; PDF.
UPDATE: Wikipedia Research Newsletter has posted comments about the paper.