Do Streamers Care about Bystanders' Privacy? An Examination of Live Streamers' Considerations and Strategies for Bystanders' Privacy Management

Yanlai Wu, Xinning Gui, Pamela J. Wisniewski, Yao Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Live streaming has become a popular activity world-wide that has warranted research attention on its privacy related issues. For instance, bystanders' privacy, or the privacy of third-parties captured by streamers, has been increasingly studied as live streaming has become almost ubiquitous in both public and private spaces in many countries. While prior work has studied bystanders' privacy concerns, a gap exists in understanding how streamers consider bystanders' privacy and the steps they take (or do not take) to preserve it. Understanding streamers' considerations towards bystanders' privacy is vital because streamers are the ones who have direct control over whether and how bystanders' information is disclosed. To address this gap, we conducted an interview study with 25 Chinese streamers to understand their considerations and practices regarding bystanders' privacy in live streaming. We found that streamers cared about bystanders' privacy and evaluated possible privacy violations to bystanders from several perspectives. To protect bystanders from privacy violations, streamers primarily relied on technical, behavioral, and collaborative strategies. Our results also indicated that current streaming platforms lacked features that helped streamers seamlessly manage bystanders' privacy and involved bystanders into their privacy decision-making. Applying the theoretical lens of collective privacy management, we discuss implications for the design of live streaming systems to support streamers in protecting bystanders' privacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW1
StatePublished - Apr 16 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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