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Roger Clarke's 'Promoting the Use of PETs'

How to Promote PET Usage

Notes for a Panel on 'What are the key factors that can promote effective use of PETs?' at the The Politics of Surveillance Workshop, University of Ottawa, 10 May 2014

Roger Clarke **

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PETs are of many kinds. For example, EPIC's list of privacy tools has about 20 categories.

PETs are innovations. They're interventions in complex environments. They're strange. And they represent change, which is always threatening.

There are bodies of knowledge relating to the diffusion of innovations, to IT adoption, and to IT avoidance. We need to apply that knowledge.

Those bodies of knowledge lead to a set of characteristics of successful innovation. There are further bodies of knowledge relating to those characteristics, particularly usability.

To achieve adoption, innovations need drivers, and have to overcome impediments.

Key Impediments are:

There are few Drivers. The key Driver is:

PETs aren't for everyone.

Particular user segments have particular needs.

A strategy is needed to achieve greater adoption of PETs, with the following elements:


A Working Paper underlying this brief panel statement was prepared with the active involvement of Arash Shaghaghi.

Author Affiliations

Roger Clarke is Principal of Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd, Canberra. He is also a Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre at the University of N.S.W., and a Visiting Professor in the Research School of Computer Science at the Australian National University. He was invited onto this Panel in his role as Chair of the Australian Privacy Foundation.

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Created: 9 May 2014 - Last Amended: 9 May 2014 by Roger Clarke - Site Last Verified: 15 February 2009
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