EUNOMIA’s PIA+ & user-engagement workshop, Vienna-February 2020

June 30th, 2020 by

EUNOMIA held a Privacy Impact Assessment + (PIA+) and user-engagement workshop in Vienna (12th February 2020) as part of our co-design activities. That means putting the user always in the centre of the toolkit’s development. Therefore, in the workshop participants had the chance to use and experience the first EUNOMIA prototype. Through hands-on sessions, the aim was to explore users’ insights on the toolkit, and understand their needs and concerns feeding into its further development.

The end-users’ panel included three average social media users and four traditional media journalists. There were also invited external experts to deepen the discussions, including a senior researcher in applied ethics, a senior academic in surveillance, and a software developer and product manager expert.

EUNOMIA aims to develop a decentralised toolkit for assisting social media users to practice information hygiene routine and protect their network against misinformation.  

The workshop ran for a full day and was designed following the principles of co-design method, ensuring the user-centric approach of EUNOMIA. The first session included activities such as quizzes around misinformation and the challenges of recognising false news on social media. There were vivid discussions around the indicators of trustworthiness: participants ranked which of them consider the most important and why. These discussions confirmed the prior results stemming from desk-based research, interviews and surveys and will feed into the development of further indicators in the toolkit.  

In the second session, the first prototype of the EUNOMIA toolkit was introduced and participants could already sign up and use it during the workshop. The participants discussed the EUNOMIA toolkit and the different features included. They were asked of how/if they would make use of it and what extra features they would like to see.The participants welcomed the EUNOMIA tools underlying the potential good use of content trustworthiness vote and providing valuable insights on the further development of a user-friendlier interface. The direct engagement of consortium partners with the participants was very fruitful as they could directly discuss the needs of social media users and how the toolkit can be improved.

EUNOMIA adopts a privacy-first approach and for this reason the workshop dedicated a long session to identify potential ethical and societal concerns. The workshop participants were firstly introduced to the ethical, privacy, social and legal impact assessment method (PIA+) that runs throughout the project’s lifecycle. Following, through vignettes (written scenarios) that stemmed from the analysis of user needs and requirements, participants discussed on potential risks of EUNOMIA’s implementation along with the societal benefit.

The workshop proved to be successful with the interaction between participants, experts and consortium partners generating important recommendations to ensure privacy-by-design and sustainable tools valuable for the social media users.

Pinelopi Troullinou, Research Analyst at Trilateral Research