Technology companies frequently develop and launch features to protect privacy, reduce user harm, and increase security. But adoption is inconsistent at best. Businesses might increase awareness through prominent placement on user interfaces or in-product promotions, and drive adoption through changes to default user settings, or by guiding users to tutorials that encourage them to engage with a new feature. These solutions can be effective but fail to capture key factors that inform use and adoption – particularly in the majority world. In this study, we conducted qualitative interviews with 24 participants in five majority world countries across three continents: the Philippines, Brazil, India, Egypt, and Nigeria (N = 120). We assess the awareness and use of privacy and security features related to internet usage generally, and internet-connected mobile devices specifically. Participants often cited worries about being victimized by financial scammers, and highlighted how frequent sharing of devices, a common behavior, resulted in consistent concerns about privacy. We identify barriers and concerns around use and adoption for users in these regions and offer a holistic analytical framework that can be leveraged by actors in the space to better understand user behaviors and attitudes, and design accordingly.
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