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A multidisciplinary definition of privacy labels

Johanna Johansen (Department of Computer Science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
Tore Pedersen (Department of Psychology, Oslo New University College, Oslo, Norway and Center for Intelligence Studies, Norwegian Intelligence School, Oslo, Norway)
Simone Fischer-Hübner (Department of Computer Science, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Christian Johansen (Department of Information Security and Communication Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)
Gerardo Schneider (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Gothenburg, Goteborg, Sweden)
Arnold Roosendaal (Privacy Company, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Harald Zwingelberg (Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein, Kiel, Germany)
Anders Jakob Sivesind (Department of Computer Science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)
Josef Noll (Department of Computer Science, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway)

Information and Computer Security

ISSN: 2056-4961

Article publication date: 20 April 2022

Issue publication date: 27 May 2022




This paper aims to present arguments about how a complex concept of privacy labeling can be a solution to the current state of privacy.


The authors give a precise definition of Privacy Labeling (PL), painting a panoptic portrait from seven different perspectives: Business, Legal, Regulatory, Usability and Human Factors, Educative, Technological and Multidisciplinary. They describe a common vision, proposing several important “traits of character” of PL as well as identifying “undeveloped potentialities”, i.e. open problems on which the community can focus.


This position paper identifies the stakeholders of the PL and their needs with regard to privacy, describing how PL should be and look like to address these needs. Main aspects considered are the PL’s educational power to change people’s knowledge of privacy, tools useful for constructing PL and the possible visual appearances of PL. They also identify how the present landscape of privacy certifications could be improved by PL.


The authors adopt a multidisciplinary approach to defining PL as well as give guidelines in the form of goals, characteristics, open problems, starting points and a roadmap for creating the ideal PL.



The authors would like to thank associate Torunn Hellvik Olsen for her great inputs during the workshop on this topic held in Oslo, March 2020.


Johansen, J., Pedersen, T., Fischer-Hübner, S., Johansen, C., Schneider, G., Roosendaal, A., Zwingelberg, H., Sivesind, A.J. and Noll, J. (2022), "A multidisciplinary definition of privacy labels", Information and Computer Security, Vol. 30 No. 3, pp. 452-469.



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