Neptun – Privacy Preserving Technologies and Users’ Perception of Privacy

The continuous violation of the private sphere through the acquisition and also misuse of sensitive data causes users to reject much-needed technological solutions to societal problems and challenges, e.g., ambient assisted living (AAL) technologies for the adequate medical care of an increasingly aging society due to the demographic change. The objective of the project Neptun is the creation of an integrative and interdisciplinary model of a user-centric development of privacy preserving technologies. As of yet, there are no integrative approaches to a quantitative model that include technical aspects of privacy preserving technologies as well as the users’ needs and individual trade-offs concerning their privacy. In this project, there are two main goals:

(1) the content-based elaboration of the private sphere through a technical and user-centered analysis of concrete problem case scenarios and
(2) the generation of an interdisciplinary methodology and therefore a testing of its methodological feasibility. On a long-term basis, the findings are meant to result in the formulation of validated design patterns and policies for the inclusion of the private sphere in the development of privacy preserving technologies.
Within the project, the focus will lie on the following usage scenarios:

1. Privacy in a social context; data of little to medium sensitivity; diverse attachment figures (e.g., family, friends, colleagues)

2. Privacy in the context of medical technology support, with the main emphasis on self-determined life in older age; highly sensitive data; individual and elected reference persons (e.g., doctors, caregivers)

3. Inclusion of both the social environment (e.g., family, friends) and the medical personnel (e.g., caregivers, doctors, administration) via existing social media infrastructures; data of varying sensitivity; diverse and designated reference persons.

Project information:


Exzellenzinitiative der deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft

Funding sum:

69.000 Euro

Funding period:

September 2014 - August 2015


Dr. Dipl.-Psych. Sylvia Kowalewski

Project partners:

Lehrstuhl für Communication and Distribution Systems RWTH Aachen (Prof. Dr. Klaus Wehrle, Henrik Ziegeldorf)