Motivate young people to protect their privacy

26th Sep 2019
Young people, especially teenagers, are expressing themselves online at a time when they are also shaping their personal identity. Apps with Augmented Reality (AR) masks and voice-driven challenges are all about creative expression when posting online, but they also catalogue young people’s rapidly changing ideas of themselves — be it with preferences as lighthearted as music taste, or as significant as political leanings or gender identity. How can we help teenagers manage their evolving sense of self online?
Product Context

Tale is an AR story-telling game that connects people to digital characters created by people (or other entities near them) challenging each other through videos.

In order to provide this service, Tale is powered by some of the following data:

  • Facial recognition technology to provide filters and augmented reality effects as part of the story-telling game. Tale allows young people to send messages and videos to their contacts.
  • Tale launched a kids version of its game with features friendly for young people. In the registration process, the child is asked to take a selfie, so Tale can use an algorithm to place them in an age group. The selfie is then automatically deleted and the person is allowed to create a profile with a birthdate and picture of their choice.
  • Tale tracks location and stores a record of places frequently visited to notify players of custom content available nearby that is part of the game.

Problem & Opportunity

Teenagers are regularly creating content connected to their personal identity. As their identity evolves, however, they may want to change who has access to the content they’ve already created. Due to the extra time and effort required to update and manage their privacy permissions, this process is often forgotten or neglected.

How might we...

...empower young people to express themselves to explore who they are both creatively and safely?

Design Features
Periodic notifications with incentives

Checking privacy settings isn’t exactly at the top of a teenager’s to-do list. By reminding and incentivizing a quick check in on settings, the app encourages good digital safety hygiene.

Tale offers teens a reward that is core to the app — a new AR face mask — in exchange for checking in on their privacy. Letting teenagers choose which AR mask they receive helps foster a greater connection between the person, their actions, and the app itself.

Whether it’s weekly, monthly or annually, the app will periodically remind people to review their settings in order to choose and receive an AR mask they will use and share with others.

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Design Features
Privacy checklist

It’s tough to know what exactly to check and track in an app’s security and privacy settings, let alone take the time to monitor them.

A quick checklist helps teenagers make sure they’re monitoring all the settings that control what content their connections see.

Pulling a privacy checklist, including a request to review connections and friends, out from the primary privacy control settings - which are hidden deeper within the settings menu - will help surface key actions, simplify controlling privacy and provide focus.

A checklist of settings also helps teens understand and connect what action to take if they want to control what their audience sees in the future.

Notification & incentive-1
Design Features
Mass delete or hide posts

For a young person with a rapidly changing identity, it’s important to be able to modify the visibility of posts in a quick, easy way.

Here, people can scroll through all their posts and tap to hide or delete any posts they don’t want other people in their network to see. Instead of having to click into the detail page of each post, then into the settings for that post to modify the visibility, they can glance through a scrollable list with granular detail and control.

mass hide and delete
Design Features
Show off your reward for checking in

The AR face mask reward payoff should be equal to the time and effort spent reviewing privacy controls, and it should also motivate other people to check their settings. Young people in their network will see the new filter on their feed and feel encouraged to check their own settings to unlock it.

Next steps

Location data, messages, and personal information are all data sources that Tale relies on, and each comes with its own set of privacy challenges for teenagers.