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Twelfth International Symposium on Human Aspects of Information Security & Assurance (HAISA 2018)
Title: Privacy Practices, Preferences, and Compunctions: WhatsApp Users in India
Author(s): Jayati Dev, Sanchari Das, Linda Jean Camp
Keywords: WhatsApp, Social and Cultural effects, Social Media, Usable Privacy and Security, Accessibility.
Abstract: WhatsApp messaging platform incorporates features that pose privacy challenges, including Last Seen, Live Location, and personal profile information. The largest population of mobile messaging applications users in India use WhatsApp. Yet research on Indian perspectives towards privacy and security in social networking platforms is sparse. We queried privacy attitudes and behaviours of 213 Indian participants, using both open and closed-ended questions. The majority of participants reported that they actively use the privacy controls on multiple data types, especially in group communications. Note that, in India, groups are common not just is social settings but also in schools and workplaces. A comparison with the results of a prior study of Saudi Arabian participants shows significant overlap in access control, with more Saudis expressing concerns about being contacted by strangers. We consider our findings and propose recommendations like including more refined access control and specific culturally sensitive privacy defaults.
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