Informing The Future of Smart Homes


Informing the Future of Smart Homes

Enabling Data Protection by Design and by Default

This project seeks to inform the future of data protection by design and by default through a combination of ethnography and speculative design. Recent changes to data protection regulation, particularly in Europe, are altering the design landscape for smart devices, requiring new design techniques to ensure that devices are able to adequately protect users’ data. How urgently these changes and new design techniques are needed is repeatedly illustrated when data breaches hit news headlines. A particularly interesting space in which to explore and address these challenges is the smart home, which presents a multitude of difficult social and technical problems in an intimate and highly private context.

Our Approach


An ethnographic longitudinal study to explore and understand individual and communal digital privacy practices pertaining to smart home devices and their privacy choice controls.


Discussions with smart home product designers, product teams, and compliance officers to understand how these alternative design approaches might be integrated into their processes.


The prototyping of new tools, interfaces, and approaches to smart home privacy, informed by the longitudinal study, including co-design sessions with smart home users.



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Recent Publications

Seymour, W., Kraemer, M.J., Binns, R., & Van Kleek, M. (2020) Informing the design of privacy-empowering tools for the connected home. To be presented at the CHI'20 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. [read]
Kraemer, M.J., Seymour, W. (2019). Smart-home study weighs the privacy risks involved. Report. Published in Privacy Laws & Business (UK). Issue No 105. September 2019. [ read]

Kraemer, M.J., Seymour, W., Binns, R., Van Kleek, M., & Flechais, I. (2019). Informing the future of data protection in smart homes. Presented at the CHI’19 Workshop on New Directions for the IoT: Automate, Share, Build, and Care.  [read]