Virtual Gossip

Anticipating Virtual Gossip -- What are (Un)Intentional Dark Patterns in an Ubiquitously Augmented Reality?



Projektbeschreibung / project description

With the advent of augmented reality (AR) devices and services also come the users’ ability to tag or annotate physical locations in AR. When linked up with social networks, these annotations might have impact on previously uninvolved parties, e.g., bystanders or property owners [1]. As a result, tags or annotations turn into potentially malicious virtual gossip which may put uninvolved parties at risk, endanger their privacy, or cause stigmatization. With our proposed research we want to explore user expectations and concerns of such virtual gossip and pinpoint potential dark patterns, i.e., instances where misused AR annotations can have negative implications or the potential to manipulate or “trick” unaware third parties. We propose to explore potential scenarios in an in-situ diary study and identify dark patterns based on co-design workshops. Implementing a selection of representative dark patterns in an demoable AR application will allow to showcase them to laypersons and experts, making them more graspable to elicit feedback. The conversation with computer vision and tracking experts will allow informed suggestions of counter strategies which we will then collect, analyze and discuss. In the long run, knowledge about potential dark patterns will ultimately allow us to anticipate them and make the creation of responsible and ethical ubiquitous AR applications possible.

Projektpartner / project partner

Prof. Gudrun Klinker, PhD; Full Professor Research Group Augmented Reality (FAR) at TUM
Dr. Marion Koelle; Lead Researcher at Personal Pervasive Computing Group at OFFIS - Institute for Information Technology in Oldenburg (acting as advisor)
Chloe Eghtebas, MEng; Doctoral Candidate at Technical University of Munich (doctoral researcher funded by the project)

The proposed research lies at the intersection of empirical user research based on speculative co-design (identification of dark patterns) [2,3], and computer vision and Augmented Reality research (strategies to counter dark patterns). The research team’s prior expertise matches the challenges posed by this combination: Prof. Gudrun Klinker is a renowned expert in the areas of visual tracking and visualization in AR [5, 6]. She has been actively driving the research agenda in these areas for more than 20 years. As advising affiliate partner, Dr. Marion Koelle contributes her experience from researching bystander privacy and social acceptability issues around wearable cameras and smart glasses [4]. Chloe Eghtebas, who will work on this project as a PhD student, has conducted prior research on the potential misuse of Augmented Reality, which will allow for a smooth and efficient start of the project.

Kontakt / contact

Prof. Gudrun Klinker

Dr. Marion Kölle           marion

Chloe Eghtebas 



Förderung / sponsorship

Funded by a Research Award From Meta (call for proposal link:



Referenzen / references

[1] Eric P.S. Baumer. 2015. Usees. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 3295–3298.
[2] Desjardins, Audrey, et al. "Bespoke booklets: A method for situated co-speculation." Proceedings of the 2019 on Designing Interactive Systems Conference. 2019.
[3] Koelle, Marion, Katrin Wolf, and Susanne Boll. "Beyond LED status lights-design requirements of privacy notices for body-worn cameras." In Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, pp. 177-187. 2018.
[4] Koelle, Marion, Swamy Ananthanarayan, Simon Czupalla, Wilko Heuten, and Susanne Boll. "Your smart glasses' camera bothers me! exploring opt-in and opt-out gestures for privacy mediation." In Proceedings of the 10th Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 473-481. 2018.
[5] Klinker, Gudrun, R. Reicher, and B. Brugge. "Distributed user tracking concepts for augmented reality applications." Proceedings IEEE and ACM International Symposium on Augmented Reality (ISAR 2000). IEEE, 2000.
[6] Schwerdtfeger, Bjorn, and Gudrun Klinker. "Supporting order picking with augmented reality." 2008 7th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality. IEEE, 2008.