Purdah, Amanah, and Gheebat: Understanding privacy in Bangladeshi "pious'' Muslim communities

Mohammad Rashidujjaman Rifat, Mahiratul Jannat, Mahdi Nasrullah Al-Ameen, S M Taiabul Haque, Ashad Kabir, Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


HCI has a dearth of knowledge in understanding how religiosity, spirituality, and ideological values and practices shape the notion of privacy and guide information practices worldwide. In this paper, we fill this gap by reporting our findings from an eight-month-long ethnographically informed study in Bangladeshi Islamic communities. We report how the Islamic spirit of purdah, amanah, gheebat, riya, and buhtan represent the notion of privacy and guide privacy practices among "pious'' Bangladeshi Muslims. We further discuss how sacred values generate norms and customs associated with privacy and surveillance. Finally, we recommend how a nuanced understanding of divine interests, identity performance, family surveillance, and spatial privacy norms help designing for inclusive privacy in the Global South. This paper makes a novel contribution to HCI by providing a new analytical perspective to understand privacy and design privacy-preserving technologies and tools for regions where religiosity, spirituality, and sacred values play a dominant role.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2021 4th ACM SIGCAS conference on computing and sustainable societies (COMPASS'21)
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc (ACM)
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781450384537
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventACM Compass 2021: ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies - Virtual
Duration: 28 Jun 202102 Jul 2021


ConferenceACM Compass 2021
OtherInspired by the broad agenda of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ACM COMPASS 2021 aims to be a forum for the presentation and publication of original research from a broad array of disciplines that support the growth of sustainable societies worldwide, including computer and information sciences, social sciences, environmental sciences and engineering. The conference has a particular commitment to approaches and research that address the challenges faced by under-represented and marginalized communities.

ACM COMPASS 2021 aims to explicitly promote multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research and practice—including new research methods & practice and innovative approaches to design, systems & evaluation—that address key challenges for sustainable societies, including (among others) equality, health, education, poverty, accessibility, conservation, climate change, energy, infrastructure and economic growth. We also welcome research on the ethics of technology, especially from a critical perspective, that explores limitations and concerns with technology-led solutions for sustainable societies.
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