Building Trust and Preserving Privacy for Marital Matchmaking Technologies in Saudi Arabia

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Finding a life partner is a complicated process. While traditional methods such as arranged marriages were perceived to be successful in the past, many life aspects have changed that have made finding a life partner a messy and complicated process. The introduction of technology was meant to improve the process and unfortunately has made it more complicated. This is further complicated by the diversity of humans across the globe with different values that guide the design of technological systems. While online matchmaking platforms have offered more options for users, the transition from online to offline is rarely accounted for and left as a burden on the user. This is critical for a conservative culture such as Saudi Arabia where the transition can be very tricky. While Saudi Arabians have found ways to circumvent and appropriate current technologies, better design can make the process more suitable for Saudi Arabians. Through my qualitative and quantitative studies, I was able to define the requirements for a high-fidelity marital matchmaking prototype, TBYAAN (Trust-Building for Young Adults in an Anonymous Network), which was utilized to understand how trust can be built while preserving privacy during seeking a potential spouse online. While I found that different phone authentication and partial parental involvement were the most associated with higher levels of trust, participants expressed that the content generated by other participants was considered a good indicator of trust. Also, I have found that participants consider TBYAAN to be more trustworthy than Twitter (a familiar social media platform where recruiting occurred) and were less concerned about their privacy being compromised overall. Future work on TBYAAN will help understand how trust building and privacy preservation can be improved for users of online platforms.
Building Trust, Cross Cultural, Inclusive Design, Marital Matchmaking, Preserving Privacy, Saudi Arabia