Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

"I didn't sign up for this!": informed consent in social network research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Luke Hutton, Tristan Henderson

School/Research organisations


The issue of whether, and how, to obtain informed consent for research studies that use social network data has recently come to the fore in some controversial cases. Determining how to acquire valid consent that meets the expectations of participants, while minimising the burden placed on them, remains an open problem. We apply Nissenbaum’s model of contextual integrity to the consent process, to study whether social norms of willingness to share social network data can be leveraged to avoid burdening participants with too many interventions, while still accurately capturing their own sharing intent. We find that for the 27.7% of our participants (N = 109) who conform to social norms, contextual integrity can be used to significantly reduce the time taken to capture their consent, while still maintaining accuracy. Our findings have implications for researchers conducting such studies who are looking to acquire informed
consent without having to burden participants with many interactions.



Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media (ICWSM)
PublisherAAAI Press
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2015
EventThe 9th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media - Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 May 201529 May 2015
Conference number: 9


ConferenceThe 9th International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media
Abbreviated titleICWSM-15
CountryUnited Kingdom

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Data protection for the common good: developing a framework for a data protection-focused data commons

    Wong, J., Henderson, T. & Ball, K., 15 Sep 2020, Data for Policy Conference 2020. Data for Policy, 6 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  2. Automating dynamic consent decisions for the processing of social media data in health research

    Norval, C. & Henderson, T., Jul 2020, In: Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics. 15, 3, p. 187-201

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Short paper: Integrating the data protection impact assessment into the software development lifecycle

    Irvine, C., Balasubramaniam, D. & Henderson, T., 2020, Data Privacy Management, Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology: ESORICS 2020 International Workshops, DPM 2020 and CBT 2020, Guildford, UK, September 17–18, 2020, Revised Selected Papers. Garcia-Alfaro, J., Navarro-Arribas, G. & Herrera-Joancomarti, J. (eds.). Cham: Springer, p. 219-228 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Security and Cryptology); vol. 12484 LNCS).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

  4. Data Protection, certification and the fourth industrial revolution

    Henderson, T. & Schafer, B., Sep 2019, Regulating Industrial Internet through IPR, Data Protection and Competition Law. Ballardini, R. M., Pitkänen, O. & Kuommamäki, P. (eds.). Alphen aan den Rijn, The Netherlands: Kluwer Law International

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

ID: 173451025