Personalized WhatsApp Privacy: Demographic and Cultural Influences on Indian and Saudi Users
34 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2019
Date Written: May 20, 2019
We offer an analysis of privacy perceptions and behaviors that focus on one of the most popular social networking platforms in cultures where it is heavily used. WhatsApp is the most popular social platform in many parts of the world, specifically on the Arabian peninsula and India. Saudi Arabia has the highest density of WhatsApp adoption, and India has the largest number of WhatsApp adopters. Prior research on security and privacy in social applications have focused primarily on Western users, and thus on Facebook. We report on an analysis of privacy perceptions and behaviors of Arab and Indian WhatsApp users. We examine the results of surveys of a total of 820 Saudis, non-Saudi Arabs, and Indians who use WhatsApp for their daily interactions. Each survey queried participants` use (or avoidance) of features and their concerns about privacy in WhatsApp, as well as asking demographic questions. We report significantly different preferences and influences on behaviors. These differences, especially when it comes to gender, provide a nuanced and complex picture of privacy through the lens of WhatsApp use. We conclude with privacy recommendations for WhatsApp, specifically, and for privacy in social networks generally for Indian and Arabs WhatsApp customers. The recommendations address blocking, location sharing, and group dynamics to empower WhatsApp users in these populations.
Keywords: computing, privacy, security, gender, culture, social networks
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