In the last decades, research has shown that both technical solutions and user perceptions are important for improving security and privacy in the digital realm. The field of usable security already started to emerge in the mid-90s, primarily focused on password and email security. Later on, the research field of usable security and privacy evolved and broadened the aim to design concepts and tools to assist users in enhancing their behaviour with regard to both privacy and security. Nevertheless, many user interventions are not as effective as desired. Because of highly diverse usage contexts, leading to different privacy and security requirements and not always to one-size-fits-all approaches, tailorability is necessary to address this issue. Furthermore, transparency is a crucial requirement, as providing comprehensible information may counter reactance towards security interventions.

In order to give a brief history of the research field in its first quarter century and to highlight research on the transparency and tailorability of user interventions,  Prof. Christian Reuter, Science and Technology for Peace and Security (PEASEC), Technical University of Darmstadt, Prof. Luigi Lo Iacono, Cyber Security and Privacy, Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, and Prof. Alexander Benlian, Information Systems & E-Services, Technical University of Darmstadt, edited a special issue in the Journal Behaviour & Information Technology (BIT)

Besides a retrospective analysis of the last quarter century of research and development of current trends, the special issue contains six contributions with regard to (1) privacy concerns in times of COVID-19, (2) authentication on mobile devices, (3) GDPR-compliant data management, (4) privacy notices on websites, (5) data disclosure scenarios in agriculture, as well as (6) rights under data protection law and the concrete process should data subjects want to claim those rights.

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Usable Security and Privacy with User-Centered Interventions and Transparency Mechanisms – Special Issue in Journal Behaviour & Information Technology (BIT) published