Skip to Main Content
Distributed collaborative applications for supporting complex use cases in mobile environments have to provide contextual information (e.g. presence and group awareness) via their user interface. Social interaction and data sharing - being essential aspects of distributed collaborative applications - typically result in conflicting goals, primarily awareness vs. privacy. Preserving the end users' privacy especially in mobile collaborative settings is the most often-cited point of critique of mobile and ubiquitous computing. Since usability is a prerequisite for privacy and awareness mechanisms especially for mobile applications, we report in this paper on how to balance usability, privacy, and awareness trade-offs when building mobile collaborative applications. This is complemented by new approaches for preserving privacy tailored to the needs of respective communities in the domain of decentralized group-centric solutions. The requirements were gathered through an analysis of user's needs as well as first evaluations of prototypes. Those were built for different case studies focusing on privacy, trust, and identity management in real-life communities. We report on the outcomes of our work and show this exemplary with the help of a mobile prototype application to support an Angling Community with privacy and collaboration needs related to location-based services.