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Full Title 

User Empowerment for Enhanced Online Management

Started on 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Embedded thumbnail for USEMP
Embedded thumbnail for USEMP
Empowering users in sharing personal data online and defending their privacy

USEMP  wants to empower users regarding the sharing of their personal data on online social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). We will develop tools that allow users to increase and enhance their privacy. These tools will not only give the users more control over the data they share, but will also inform them about who profits from processing the data they shared.

Why is our project important? 

Most Europeans have a Facebook profile, a Twitter account or are members of some Online Social Network (OSN). While we socialize on social networks, we leave footprints of our digital activities through volunteered data (e.g. text, likes, photos, videos, Web queries) which is tracked by a number of Web services through browser cookies and location trackers. This results in masses of online behavioral data (i.e. our activities on the social network).
Lately, people have been feeling that they are not in full control over the data they provide of themselves on these networks. Also, many are concerned about how that data is being handled by the networks. There is reason to be concerned because this private information we share of ourselves in benefiting someone financially.  USEMP works to reveal those beneficiaries and to bring the power to the hands of the user with the use of two tools that, on the one hand allow you to define and monitor the personal data you share on social media and, on the other hand, to assess the financial value of your shared personal data.

What are our goals? 

  • To help citizens´ understand the type of digital footprint they are leaving in social media and give the users' the control of their personal data. 
  • To bring together legal and user studies to improve user experience. 
  • To contribute to debates about personal information on social networks and to the economic value of the data we provide on these networks.
  • Disseminating the project knowledge and results within research and industrial communities.
  • Ensure that the tools and platform developed in the project will become widely adopted.

Initiatives, tools and services we have already launched 

Τhe USEMP tool will be launched in April 2016.

USEMP won the best exhibition stand prize: https://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/ict-2015-and-winners-are

Initiatives, tools and services we are still working on 

USEMP OSN Presence Control tool. Have you ever wondered what is known about you in the social networks? Have you ever wondered what people can know about you based on the information you share? This tool allows you to define yourself on social networks. 
Two groups of functionalities will be offered:
(a) Real-time OSN presence management:  This functionality will ask you to define your preferred level of privacy for a range of behavioral data such as your likes, your friend requests and acceptance, the people you follow, your visits and other activities you do.
(b) Long term OSN presence management: Making sure that your privacy settings are adjusted according to your needs as rules on the site change. The user will be assisted by the content analysis tool that filters and ranks personal information based on the user’s requests for removing or making visible the information they want to share.
USEMP Economic Value Awareness Tool allows you to assess the financial worth of your shared personal data. The USEMP platform will provide means to raise users’ awareness concerning the economic value of their data (e.g. what is the price of my likes). In this way the users, and not only the data controllers of OSN, can financially benefit from the data they share on online social networks. 
The USEMP tools are grouped under the name DataBait, whose experimental version is available at: https://databait.hwcomms.com/ 

Who will benefit from our project? 

  • Online social network users i.e. people having at least one account on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or another social networking service, in order to inform them about the way data is collected and processed, and how they can have control over information they share.
  • Data controllers who manage the personal information in the online social networks, will be better informed about what pieces of data they are allowed to share and sell to advertisers, brand monitoring companies, etc.

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