A User Study of a Wearable System to Enhance Bystanders’ Facial Privacy

Alfredo J. Perez, Sherali Zeadally, Scott Griffith, Luis Y.Matos Garcia, Jaouad A. Mouloud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The privacy of users and information are becoming increasingly important with the growth and pervasive use of mobile devices such as wearables, mobile phones, drones, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Today many of these mobile devices are equipped with cameras which enable users to take pictures and record videos anytime they need to do so. In many such cases, bystanders’ privacy is not a concern, and as a result, audio and video of bystanders are often captured without their consent. We present results from a user study in which 21 participants were asked to use a wearable system called FacePET developed to enhance bystanders’ facial privacy by providing a way for bystanders to protect their own privacy rather than relying on external systems for protection. While past works in the literature focused on privacy perceptions of bystanders when photographed in public/shared spaces, there has not been research with a focus on user perceptions of bystander-based wearable devices to enhance privacy. Thus, in this work, we focus on user perceptions of the FacePET device and/or similar wearables to enhance bystanders’ facial privacy. In our study, we found that 16 participants would use FacePET or similar devices to enhance their facial privacy, and 17 participants agreed that if smart glasses had features to conceal users’ identities, it would allow them to become more popular.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
JournalInternet of Things
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.


  • Internet of Things
  • adversarial machine learning
  • bystanders’ privacy
  • face detection
  • face recognition
  • facial privacy
  • usability
  • usable privacy
  • wearables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'A User Study of a Wearable System to Enhance Bystanders’ Facial Privacy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this