To gather the requirements of blind and visually impaired users for an accessible tracking blocker, two workshops, an expert review and interviews were conducted. Furthermore blind and visually impaired users used a tracking blocker and provided us with feedback.
The workshops have shown that privacy concerns and protection of internet privacy are an important topic for visually impaired and blind users. However, the workshop participants had little to no experience with privacy protecting tools. The threat of behavioral analysis and targeting is known by the participants and considered as a threat with medium severity. Due to their visual impairment it was considered as more difficult to recognize threats on the internet. Participants stated that this results in a more careful behavior while browsing the internet. Regarding the accessible tracking blocker participants stated, that the tool must be completely accessible and easy to configure, to enable the users to decide which trackers are blocked and which are not.
Observations and Interviews
Observations of users trying out a tracking blocker and interviews with ten blind and visually impaired internet users were conducted. The interviews confirmed the impressions gathered during the workshops, that privacy threats are known by experienced blind and visually impaired internet users. Tracking and collection of personal data were often mentioned as threats in the interviews. Providing too much (or unwanted) information on the internet was one of the major concerns of the interviewees. When asked explicitly about collection of personal data, participants stated that they are well aware that data is collected, but no one used tools for protection.
The analysis of the laddering interview shows, that accessibility is a major quality a tracking blocker should have. Values that are important are protection of personal privacy, control, equality of opportunities and self-determination. A tool for blocking data collection should consider these values.