'I have too much respect for my elders': Understanding South African Mobile Users' Perceptions of Privacy and Current Behaviors on Facebook and WhatsApp


Jake Reichel, Fleming Peck, Mikako Inaba, Bisrat Moges, and Brahmnoor Singh Chawla, Princeton University; Marshini Chetty, University of Chicago


Facebook usage is growing in developing countries, but we know little about how to tailor social media privacy settings to users in resourced-constrained settings. To that end, we present findings from interviews of 52 current mobile social media users in South Africa. We found users' primary privacy-related concern was who else could see their posts and messages, not what data the platforms or advertisers collect about them. Second, users displayed general knowledge gaps on existing social media privacy settings and relied heavily on blocking and passwords for privacy protection. Third, users' privacy and security-related behaviors were heavily influenced by living in high-crime areas. Based on these findings, we make recommendations for future work to better serve user privacy and security needs in resourced-constrained settings.

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@inproceedings {251528,
author = {Jake Reichel and Fleming Peck and Mikako Inaba and Bisrat Moges and Brahmnoor Singh Chawla and Marshini Chetty},
title = {{\textquoteright}I have too much respect for my elders{\textquoteright}: Understanding South African Mobile Users{\textquoteright} Perceptions of Privacy and Current Behaviors on Facebook and {WhatsApp}},
booktitle = {29th USENIX Security Symposium (USENIX Security 20)},
year = {2020},
isbn = {978-1-939133-17-5},
pages = {1949--1966},
url = {https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity20/presentation/reichel},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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