University of Oulu

Humphrey O. Obie, Idowu Ilekura, Hung Du, Mojtaba Shahin, John Grundy, Li Li, Jon Whittle, and Burak Turhan. 2022. On the Violation of Honesty in Mobile Apps: Automated Detection and Categories. In 19th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR ’22), May 23–24, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 12 pages.

On the violation of honesty in mobile apps : automated detection and categories

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Author: Obie, Humphrey O.1; Ilekura, Idowu2; Du, Hung3;
Organizations: 1HumaniSE Lab, Monash University Melbourne, Australia
2Data Science Nigeria, Lagos, Nigeria
3Applied Artificial Intelligence Inst., Deakin University Melbourne, Australia
4School of Computing Technologies, RMIT University Melbourne, Australia
5Faculty of IT, Monash University Melbourne, Australia
6CSIRO’s Data61, Melbourne, Australia
7University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: IEEE, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-11-10


Human values such as integrity, privacy, curiosity, security, and honesty are guiding principles for what people consider important in life. Such human values may be violated by mobile software applications (apps), and the negative effects of such human value violations can be seen in various ways in society. In this work, we focus on the human value of honesty. We present a model to support the automatic identification of violations of the value of honesty from app reviews from an end-user perspective. Beyond the automatic detection of honesty violations by apps, we also aim to better understand different categories of honesty violations expressed by users in their app reviews. The result of our manual analysis of our honesty violations dataset shows that honesty violations can be characterised into ten categories: unfair cancellation and refund policies; false advertisements; delusive subscriptions; cheating systems; inaccurate information; unfair fees; no service; deletion of reviews; impersonation; and fraudulent-looking apps. Based on these results, we argue for a conscious effort in developing more honest software artefacts including mobile apps, and the promotion of honesty as a key value in software development practices. Furthermore, we discuss the role of app distribution platforms as enforcers of ethical systems supporting human values, and highlight some proposed next steps for human values in software engineering (SE) research.

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Series: Proceedings. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Mining Software Repositories
ISSN: 2574-3848
ISSN-E: 2574-3864
ISSN-L: 2574-3848
ISBN: 978-1-4503-9303-4
ISBN Print: 978-1-6654-5210-6
Pages: 321 - 332
DOI: 10.1145/3524842.3527937
Host publication: MSR '22 : Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories
Conference: International Conference on Mining Software Repositories
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This work is supported by ARC Discovery Grant DP200100020. Grundy is supported by ARC Laureate Fellowship FL190100035. Li is supported by ARC DECRA DE200100016.
Copyright information: © Association for Computing Machinery 2022. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in 19th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR ’22),