Hello There!

Welcome to Decoding Privacy.
This is the web presence of a 2-year research project about the understanding of privacy in today’s world, more specifically the challenges, conflicts and potential solutions in the mobile technology field.



The Project

Through a combination of Anthropology, Psychology, Technology Management and Design Research, we aim to understand, structure and visualise the ambiguous field of privacy in mobile technology, gather real-world cases of privacy conflicts and link them to potential solutions.

The output is a user-generated, browsable database that serves as a tool for software engineers and any professional developing a product or service solution directly or indirectly related to privacy.


This research was initiated at the Technical University Munich (TUM), the Ludwig Maximilians Universität (LMU), the Center for Digital Technology and Management (CDTM) and the Design Thinking hub BriskRoad.

Participate in our research!

  • You can contribute to our worldwide privacy research by filling out this brisk, anonymous survey - it'll only take a minute. Your input is greatly appreciated!
  • Meet & greet

    We’ll need your gender, age and current location to kick off:
  • Tech. Specs.


Privacy Patterns

  • Please select the 3 highest ranking elements
    contact information
    message/ email content
    phonecall content
    media (image/ video/ audio)
    browsing history
    financial data
  • Please select the 3 highest ranking elements
    data theft
    identity theft
    access to contacts
    access to messages/ emails
    password breach
    access to banking/ money
    access to social media
    public exposure/ embarrasment
    geographic traceability
    role conflict private/ professional self
  • Please rank all options listed below from 1 to 6, giving the highest rank (1) to the stakeholder with the most responsibility.

Case, meet your solution:




The quantitative empirical research illustrated a complex layered, multidimensional model of privacy structured by degrees of interaction with most privacy conflicts occurring in the context of mobile technologies, but most strategies employed by users being inept in this context. This raises the topic of the Designer Engineer/ Developer role in this evolution: a problem field we addressed in our speech at the Young Members Event of this year’s International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED’13) in Seoul, Korea.

A qualitative analysis of the privacy concept in mobile software development revealed that although conflicts and strategies can be technology-related as well as technology-aided, most of them rely on user interaction and the design behind the technology to a very high degree.


The research is currently ongoing and first results will be presented at the International Conference of Engineering Design (ICED'13), to be held in Seoul mid-august 2013. Upon conference presentation and publication, we'll make the preliminary results available on the website. Meanwhile: stay tuned!


Keep Me Informed!

Meet the Team

We are a team of young professionials working at the crossroads between Industrial Design, Anthropological Research and Technology Management. With "Decoding Privacy" we aim to raise awareness for user privacy and the significance of appropriate design tools to solve far-reaching conflicts in the context of technology use. Through an iterative process combining theoretical, empirical and design research, using methods from social sciences, design thinking and design engineering, we propose a design tool to comprehend, structure and visualize the implications of privacy in high-tech applications.

Diana is an avid industrial designer, city nomad and runs on a combination of Italian coffee, Belgian pralines and fast-walking. Whenever she's not busy with her work at Belgian strategic design consultancy ACHILLES DESIGN, entrepreneurial projects as a Design Thinking Ambassador for BRISKROAD, guest lecturing at Munich's Technology Management School slash Start-Up Hub CDTM, she's devising new plans on how to combine Design/ Field Research/ Business, falling down the walls at boulder-parks or out on inflatable boats on the North Sea.


Tanja is a trilingual Researcher at the interface between Psychology, Behavioural Sciences and Technology. Through her ethnographic work at an Innovation Agency, she gained first experiences in the Design Industry. After successful completion of an Honors Degree in Technology Management and a M.Sc. in Psychology, she’s currently finishing her Master’s in Anthropology in Munich. An avid traveler, she’s lived, studied and traveled across the globe.


The Research

The goal of this project is to raise awareness about the implications of privacy in mobile technology -for end-users and developers- by creating and interactive, browsable database with concrete examples, conflicts, strategies and references.


This design tool combines analogue user strategies of maintaining privacy with digital solutions from developers to create a design tool that will address this problem field. The design tool aims to become a user-generated, searchable database, which can be consulted via a website/ smart device application. It is comprised of cases that communicate real-life privacy conflicts related to mobile technologies and map them to user-generated design solutions. The tool is being design to be a living document, enriched by everyday experiences and paired with sophisticated, crowd-sourced solutions as to how to manage and solve them.


This Design Tool is currently in its beta phase, being tested by two design teams in Brussels and Munich and improved before going live, presumably early autumn 2013. In its next phase, the design tool will allow accumulation of user-generated content: enabling users to learn from input, examples, insights and mistakes fellow designers or mobile developers have encountered, providing a platform for design and engineering professionals to interact with their users as well as colleagues and enabling them to solve existing or upcoming conflicts.




  • Want to learn more about our project? Questions, suggestions, feedback?
    Just drop us a line!