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Gamification vs. Privacy: Identifying and Analysing the Major Concerns

Privacy Engineering and Social Informatics Laboratory, Department of Cultural Technology and Communication, University of the Aegean, 81100 Lesvos, Greece
Information and Communication Systems Security Laboratory, Department of Information and Communications Systems Engineering, University of the Aegean, 83100 Samos, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Future Internet 2019, 11(3), 67;
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 12 February 2019 / Accepted: 27 February 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary Feature Papers)
PDF [1848 KB, uploaded 7 March 2019]


Gamification, the use of game design elements in applications that are not games, has been developed to provide attractive environments and maintain user interest in several domains. In domains such as education, marketing and health, where gamification techniques are applied, user engagement in applications has increased. In these applications the protection of users’ privacy is an important aspect to consider, due to the applications obtaining a record of the personal information of their users. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to identify if applications where gamification is applied do respect users’ privacy. For the accomplishment of this aim, two main steps have been implemented. Since the main principle of gamification is the existence of game elements, the first step was to identify the set of game elements recorded in the literature that are commonly applied in various applications. Afterwards, an examination of the relationship between these elements and privacy requirements was implemented in order to identify which elements conflict with the privacy requirements leading to potential privacy violations and which elements do not. Α conceptual model according to the results of this examination was designed, which presents how elements conflict with requirements. Based on the results, there are indeed game elements which can lead to privacy violations. The results of this work provide valuable guidance to software developers, especially during the design stages of gamified applications since it helps them to consider the protection of users’ privacy in parallel from the early stages of the application development onwards. View Full-Text
Keywords: privacy; privacy requirements; gamification; game elements privacy; privacy requirements; gamification; game elements

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Mavroeidi, A.-G.; Kitsiou, A.; Kalloniatis, C.; Gritzalis, S. Gamification vs. Privacy: Identifying and Analysing the Major Concerns. Future Internet 2019, 11, 67.

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