last friday I was sitting in a talk by a PhD who wrote his thesis on privacy. You can find his homepage and publications at the following adress: http://www.ics.uci.edu/~patil/Home.html He was giving a highly interesting talk from which we could probably learn a lot!
he used the concept of social navigation (so far only to be found on french wikipedia) to show users what privacy settings their friends on average would prefere.
I really liked the idea of evaluating the settings of your friends and feedback this information to the user helping him to choose a good privacy setting!
Privacy while installing / registering
Sameer also did a user study in which he used this social navigation and so on. They could see a tiny statistical significance on this. To me this is rather obvious since They only had 60 test candidates and have been testing several things. But what they did was very interesting and received great feedback.
while installing the software (a instant messanging client) they showed the user the 6 most important privacy settings without any option selected and the user had to choose a setting.
I think we could perfectly do the same thing on metalcon. Whenever a user registers we can ask him to set several settings. I am very sure this would help us a lot to gain users trust!
we could even go so far that a user while registering would first have to select some privacy settings and could then enter name and email as well as birthday and zip code. I think even more people would consider to use their real name afterwards!
I will soon edit some pages concerning Privacy in our projectwiki!