June 21, 2021


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Saudi Parents’ Security and Privacy Concerns about their Children’s Smart Device Applications. (arXiv:2105.13634v1 [cs.CR])

In this paper, we investigate Saudi parents’ security and privacy concerns
regarding their children’s smart device applications (apps). To this end, we
conducted a survey and analysed 119 responses. Our results show that Saudi
parents expressed a high level of concern regarding their children’s security
and privacy when using smart device apps. However, they expressed higher
concerns about apps’ content than privacy issues such as apps’ requests to
access sensitive data. Furthermore, parents’ concerns are not in line with most
of the children’s installed apps, which contain apps inappropriate for their
age, require parental guidance, and request access to sensitive data such as
location. We also compare Saudi parents’ practices and concerns with those
reported by Western (mainly from the UK) and Chinese parents in previous
reports. We find interesting patterns and establish new relationships.
Furthermore, Saudi and Western parents show higher levels of privacy concerns
than Chinese parents. The low level of privacy concerns expressed by Chinese
parents even after being informed about possible privacy implications could be
related cultural or political reasons. Finally, we tested 14 security and
privacy practices and concerns against high vs. low socioeconomic classes
(parents’ education, technical background, and income) to find whether there
are significant differences between high and low classes. Out of 42 tests (14
properties x 3 classes) we find significant differences between high and low
classes in 7 tests only. While this is a positive trend overall, it is
important to work on bridging these gaps. The results of this paper provide key
findings to identify areas of improvements and recommendations, especially for
Saudis, which can be used by parents, developers, researchers, regulators, and
policy makers.