Towards user centric regulation: exploring the interface between information technology law and human computer interaction

Urquhart, Lachlan (2017) Towards user centric regulation: exploring the interface between information technology law and human computer interaction. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis investigates the role of technology designers in regulation. Emerging information technologies are complex to regulate. They require new strategies to support traditional approaches. We focus on the use of technology design as a regulatory tool. Whilst this solution has significant conceptual traction, what it means in practice is not clear. Deeper investigation of the role of the design community in regulation is necessary to move these strategies from theory into practice. We structure our analysis by asking: how can we understand the role of designers in regulation of emerging technologies?

We answer this question from four primary perspectives: conceptual, legal, practical and design. We situate our investigation within the context of the domestic internet of things and information privacy by design. We adopt an overtly multidisciplinary approach, critically assessing how to bring together the human computer interaction and information technology law communities. To do this, we utilise a range of qualitative methods, including case studies, documental and legal analysis, semi structured expert interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, workshops, and development, testing and evaluation of a design tool. Our contributions are as follows:

Conceptually, we provide a critical investigation of the role of technology designers in regulation by consolidating, evaluating and aligning a range of theoretical perspectives from human computer interaction (HCI) and information technology (IT) law. We draw these together through the concept of user centric regulation. This concept advocates a user focused, interaction led approach to position the role of designers in regulation. It draws on the turn to human values and societal issues in HCI, and the increasing reliance in IT law on design for regulation of emerging technologies.

Legally, we present two detailed case studies of emerging technologies (domestic internet of things and smart metering) mapping the emerging legal landscape and challenges therein. We situate the role of designers, as regulators, within this space, and show how they can respond accordingly through their user centric focus.

Practically, we analyse experiences from leading experts in technology design and regulation to understand the challenges of doing information privacy by design (PbD) for the IoT. We present our findings within the framing of technological, business and regulatory perspectives.

Lastly, we present a design tool, ‘information privacy by design cards’, to support designers in doing PbD. This tool has been designed, tested and refined, providing us with a practical approach to doing user centric regulation. Based on our findings from using the cards, we provide the concept of regulatory literacy to clearly conceptualise the role of designers in regulation.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Rodden, Tom
Edwards, Lilian
Keywords: User Centric Regulation; Information Technology Law; Human Computer Interaction; Privacy by Design; Internet of Things; Smart Metering
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA 75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Computer Science
Item ID: 41787
Depositing User: Urquhart, Lachlan
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2017 13:35
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2019 09:48

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