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Abstract

Facebook, which revolutionized social networking, offers solid platforms for women freely to express and give life to their opinions on any subject they desire, from fashion to human rights, feminism to politics. As a result, a number of issues have arisen regarding the safety of social exposure, chief amongst them being the preservation of privacy. This study examines privacy concerns of female Facebook users in Sri Lanka (age group of 20-30) and the possible judicious measures that can be taken by government organizations regarding this matter. During the course of this research, a mixed methodology was adopted in data collection, which included 118 surveys and interviews. The general concern of Facebook privacy, attitudes and expectations was evaluated through the survey. Interviews were conducted with the goal of bringing attention to and evaluating the existing privacy protection mechanisms provided for Facebook users. The willingness displayed by many females to disclose personal views and information on Facebook has become a phenomenon which demonstrates breaking the silence and absolute freedom of expression. The survey revealed that a majority of the survey participants were pessimistic about Facebook security, even after the application of strict privacy settings. This paper concludes with a discussion of the proposed privacy protection, through amendments and reforms, which is viewed as part of the government’s legal responsibility to uphold Facebook privacy and affirms the matriarchal cultural values of Sri Lanka, where the general expectation of young females is to raise a family that upholds virtue and family values. In turn, female mental and social security and the prevalence of freedom of expression ensure gender equality in Sri Lanka.

Note on the Author

Asha Hansinee Mendis is a recipient of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B (Hons)) from Faculty of Law, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Sri Lanka. She has also completed “Certificate Course in Forensic Science” awarded by the Bar Association of Sri Lanka. As a member of Toastmasters International, she has been awarded “Competent Communicator” as well as “Advanced Leader Bronze”. She was also awarded the gold medal for the Session’s best research presentation, titled “Seeker Are You Protected: Facebook and Privacy Concern of Women in Sri Lanka” presented at the 3rd World Conference on Women’s Studies 2017. Her research areas of interest are human rights, humanitarian law and gender studies.

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