The KURAMi Project
KURAMi: Knowledge-based, explainable User empowerment in Releasing private data and Assessing Misinformation in online environments
The KURAMi Project, funded by the Ministry of University and Research (MUR) in relation to the PRIN 2022 Call (https://prin.mur.gov.it/Pages/Index/181), stems from observing recent dynamics in considering the protection of users' data and privacy, and users’ access to potential misinformation, through EU regulations and guidelines. A key aspect is the balance between the rights to confidentiality, autonomous decision-making, free access to information, and freedom of expression.
KURAMi aims to develop knowledge-based and explainable solutions for empowering users in addressing different issues in this scenario.
The first issue concerns the lack of control users may experience over their personal and/or sensitive data upon their release to online environments. This can be exacerbated when users are not sufficiently literate w.r.t. privacy issues, not least in view of the fact that many online platforms encourage people to provide data in a not entirely transparent way in exchange for services.
A second issue concerns the possibility of incurring misinformation in accessing online content. This can impact the decision-making process of users, who again may not have sufficient cognitive skills and may not be sufficiently literate to discern information from misinformation. In most cases, they do not even have the ability to understand whether the content they receive has been previously generated and/or verified by automated or pseudo-automated tools.
A third issue ties the release of data to access to potential misinformation. Privacy-sensitive information can be employed for micro-targeting, in which users, rather than human beings, are considered “temporary agglomerations of data” to be analyzed to provide products, services, and information. In this context, the generation of highly homogeneous and polarized environments (i.e., echo chambers), makes them more easily targetable for misinformation campaigns.
To address these issues, in the KURAMi project we intend to:
Define explainable knowledge-based solutions enabling users to: (i) specify and have enforced protection requirements over their personal/sensitive data and (ii) assess the risk of personal/sensitive information disclosure associated with the released data;
Define knowledge-based and explainable solutions enabling users to: (i) access genuine content in an environment of free access to information and freedom of expression, and (ii) be informed of how the process of assessing the genuineness of information has unfolded;
Investigate the relationship between the release of personal/sensitive data and access to potential misinformation, both before and after the adoption of the proposed solutions.
KURAMi will then empower users in their decision-making processes, leading them to have more control in the release of, and access to, content in online environments with clear benefits in terms of personal and social good, scientific research, and sustainable and responsible economy.