Input on survey about privacy as part of collaboration with SIDN fund

Hi @ralxx , this is actually a great suggestion. I am going to contact these organizations and try to get them involved. Do you or anyone else have any other suggestions for organizations who would be good to involve in asking for input for this project?

@Rik: GREAT! I’d like to thank you for doing this project!

@PNJ88_Beast: Great suggestions, nothing to add from my point of view!

I’d like you to consider, like @ralxx did, who you will target with the survey.
Since I’m doing IT consulting for “moms and dads” (in terms of the 2nd group as @ralxx suggested it) for ages, in my experience awareness for “privacy (on mobile phones)” is extremely limited (according to my German customers). People buy phones, use them with default settings, and sometimes wonder about cross-device ads. That’s basically covers it.
Usually when we hit the topic privacy I get a big “Ohhh, really?! Is it that bad with Google, FB & Co.?”. Most of them feel that they cannot do anything about it since all of their contacts use whatsapp, FB and Instagram. To the point, in my experience, there is a great deal of ignorance and helplessness out there.

So, for your survey regarding to the 2nd group I suggest from my experience very light questions like “Do you have any idea what privacy on your phone could mean?” (multiple choice answers) or “Did you know that you have a choice to more privacy?” (yes/no answer). I recommend pretty simple terminology otherwise, in my experience, you might loose attention of the interviewee.

After asking some very basic questions you could ask if the interviewee would like to continue with more advanced questions like the ones from @PNJ88_Beast.

I hope that helped a little, coming just from my field experience.

Organizations recommend to contact for input:


yes I agree this might be a good approach, thanks for the input!


For your question

(1) What do you practice to keep your information private? (To get some good fictional stories :sweat_smile:)
(1) What should people do to keep their information on their phone private? (To get what they think is important based on what their knowledge is)

(2)What other organizations or individuals can get information from peoples phones?

(3)What apps or services share the phones information?

About the question itself

Feel free to disagree or ignore the rest of this post, it was late when I wrote it. I considered to delete, but I thought it may be of value. One person already liked. Also Adam Grant shared the opinion in his book Originals. Mr. Grant had a key chapter in his book talk about how a professional’s peers outside his working group are the best to judge accurately what is a good.

I may be mistaken but, I don’t think it would help develop an application that requires user interaction to solve privacy issues. People need something that works no hassle. For examples: (A)SSL allows people to talk securely while they don’t need to know anything about it. SSL is integrated into browsers.
(B)Passwords are a pain for people to use so. They need a separate app to manage them and it still causes issues. Many breaches happen due to poor passwords practices. Perhaps if e-signatures similar to those in secure email had been integrated instead well, perhaps people could have a single signature to authenticate. No more numerous bad passwords

It seems an app has already been tried. These results are biased by the revenue streams. (A)Google uses personal information and people giving up privacy to generate advertising revenue. Google already made privacy settings added in to android 10 and few use it plus it’s harder.
(B) Apple does not make it’s main revenue with advertising, so helping privacy doesn’t oppose revenue it is something that can drive there sales. Apple got Facebook complaining about new privacy changes to there O.S. because people use it with it more privacy activated, as it is integrated. Facebook again uses people giving up privacy to sell advertising.

Since I’m being so wonderful by saying I think this is a mistaken idea we should learn from :innocent: , I should offer what I can.

People get the best info and feedback on work from peers in the same field, that are not as involved with the project. I would include peers in the security field. They have many of the same issues. They have users unfamiliar with the field. Both are about protecting data. I would survey people that work with the development and implementation of digital security.

But since your here I could be wrong. This may have been discussed. Maybe an app will do the trick. I just concerned, that after it was decided on an app, if some system security administrators/designers were surveyed to check if an app will work.

:+1: Thanks for pushing for privacy. We want our rights like privacy and security.


thanks for your input ! Much appreciated and we’re gonna take it into account

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Hi all, hi @Rik,

There are many good suggestions for questions here, however the survey won’t give you much inside if all the questions are closed (yes/no) and leading (i.e., they give the “correct” answer in the question).

You mentioned that you will prefer multiple choice and open (free text?) questions. If you’re not careful, these can still end up being closed and leading, so the key is to be careful with the phrasing. I expect that, as this will be done in Dutch and English that you’ll need to proof-read two, which could end up with the answers being slightly different if you’re not even more careful!

I would suggest questions with multiple choice answers like:

  • What is a tracker?
  • What is a tracking cookie?
  • What is fingerprinting?
  • What personal information is your smartphone capable of gathering about you?
  • Which of these types of personal information can the original apps (i.e. preinstalled) on your smartphone access?
  • Which of these types of personal information can new apps you install access?
  • What control do you have over the information these apps can access?
  • What are the controls for this called on an Android smartphone? (maybe the same on an iPhone, I don’t know)
  • What are side channels and covert permissions? (I think I got the name right, but if it’s not covert permissions then this is basically where system apps allow other apps to access data which the other app doesn’t itself have permission to access)
  • What personal information are you most concerned about protecting?
  • What can app with access to your location/camera/microphone/etc allow someone to do? (multiple versions of this question are possible)
  • What information does “Login with Facebook” or Google, etc. provide to Google and to the website you’re accessing?

Always have “Don’t know” as an answer, this way people can either guess or be completely honest and say they don’t know, which will give you better data about what people really do know.

Cheers :slightly_smiling_face:


2 thoughts about surveys.

  1. to engage people, ensure you ask how they feel.
  2. its best not to have open questions. So whether a sliding scale is needed or multiple choice will depend on the question.

Many people I know simply don’t care about their data security. A question that would be relevant for them would focus on possible benefits to them. Brave browser offers rewards in exchange for data. Offering people that choice is ideal.

For those that do care but simply cant be bothered, we need to focus on ease of use. "How would you feel if you could take control of your data, with little effort.


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thanks @madbilly for the detailed suggestions!!

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Tonight I stumbled over another ‘raising privacy awareness’ questionnaire, see .

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This topic is still lingering in my head. As some might have guessed, I am critical about this project in so far that it has been disclosed. The concepts for this project are at the moment much to vague to really contribute to it…

Please, @Rik, consider dropping the idea of the survey. There are already loads of organizations and websites and authors busy with arousing awareness of the current great privacy risks in the digital world. There really is no need to add a new organization to the flock.

I have been actively seeking better privacy the last few years, long before I met the /e/OS. When I met the /e/OS I was ready for it…

In my view the /e/ project is primarily good in creating a software product, and setting up an /e/ eco system. The project performs fairly poor in communication (IMHO)… but because of the strong motivation of the /e/ community this is not a problem. So, probably, the /e/ developers can very well develop a new kind of privacy app.

To define the functionality of the new app I would myself try to start a brainstorm group, and discuss and discuss until we have found the smallest functionality that seems viable for the goal and has potential to draw the interest of many people. You have to start somewhere, but you can only start small. And then work up from there, with feedback from the users and progressive insight. To be successful an app nowadays needs to have a fun element, or a game element, and a social media hook. So you need contributions of that kind in the discussion group.

One last remark, I find it hard to imagine a Privacy app that is at the same time meaningful for privacy-ignorant users of stock Android, as for privacy-aware users of /e/OS. I need detailed alarms for the, hopefully rare, privacy breaches that occur on my phone. A user of stock Android needs meaningful, condensed information, presented in a appetizing way, about the thousands of privacy breaches that occur on his/her phone.

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thanks @HenkK, I appreciate that you’ve thought about it, we’ll take this under consideration.

e.g. EFF,,,


I agree with @HenkK that the main issue is a privacy app. And I think it should not only inform about privacy issues but combine and improve the many tools that are there already to protect privacy as the LineageOS privacy guard, TrackerControl, AdAway, Firewall, GlassWire (notify about internet connection), 3C Toolbox …


thanks both and all other contributors. The survey is in the making and we will post it here when it is done.

Thanks for the link to ! great web site!

Cool. I am curious to see your questionnaire.

There’s one topic that is important and linked to that a question I would like to raise:
I would be looking forward to a tool that helps users to increase their privacy on their phones by easy and effective means. But: My impression is that many users are just overstrained with the mechanisms how user data is tapped nowadays and therefore they probably do not understand how they could defend themselves against those practices. So, how could all those practically and effectively be supported ?

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