Aniqa Alam, Elizabeth Stobert, Robert Biddle (Carleton University)

This paper explores how cultural factors impact the password-sharing attitudes and practices of young Bangladeshi adults. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 24 Bangladeshi participants aged between 18 and 39 about how, why, and with whom they share passwords. Using Grounded Theory, we identified three stages of password sharing (motivations, expectations, and problems) and three cultural factors (gender identity, collectivist social norms, and religious identity) that impact password sharing in Bangladesh. We found that password sharing is pervasive, and deeply affected by Bangladeshi culture and identity. Young adults’ motivations and expectations for password sharing were complex and nuanced, and often served poorly by the tools and accounts that they were attempting to share. We found that Bangladeshi culture creates a situation in which password sharing is inevitable, but where individuals are inconvenienced and sometimes endangered by the action.

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