Gender and IoT (Internet of Things) resource list

(36 Posts)
Scribblegirl Fri 06-Jul-18 13:50:53

www.ucl.ac.uk/steapp/research/projects/digital-policy-lab/g-iot-resource-list

A team at UCL has put together this resource list for victims of domestic abuse who are concerned about further abuse enabled by the Internet of Things. Spotted this on Twitter and thought it was worth sharing - I've not looked into all the resources listed but it looks like it's a useful source of info.

OP’s posts: |
ErrolTheDragon Fri 06-Jul-18 14:23:44

That's useful stuff. Not for reasons of DV (just generalised realisation of the way technology can be abused) DH and I steer clear of 'internet of things' devices as far as possible.

I'm just wondering if the title of this thread will get noticed by all the women who could really do with being aware of it - would it be worth asking MNHQ to edit the title to something like 'domestic violence and the misuse of technology ' ?

UpstartCrow Fri 06-Jul-18 15:43:51

I agree, this is really useful, and could do with a thread title change to attract more posters.

FermatsTheorem Fri 06-Jul-18 19:32:17

Really important thread - Scribblegirl, do you think you could start a thread with the same link (maybe call it "DV and misuse of internet technology" as suggested upthread so people can clearly see what it's about), over on the Relationships board?

I think this would be a phenomenally useful resource over there (and many of the posters who really need help with this stuff might well not think of coming over to FWR).

BettyDuMonde Sat 07-Jul-18 00:00:10

Wow, yes. I had no idea what this thread was so didn’t open it for ages.

Here’s the guide that goes with the resource list:

www.ucl.ac.uk/steapp/research/projects/digital-policy-lab/gender-iot-tech-abuse

And the webpage that hosts both PDFs:

www.ucl.ac.uk/steapp/research/projects/digital-policy-lab/dpl-projects/gender-and-iot

(For anyone time poor that pops in but doesn’t link follow, this is about how domestic abusers can use modern technology to stalk/spy on victims and how to ensure it doesn’t happen to you)

Ereshkigal Sat 07-Jul-18 00:25:13

I found this on the website which fleshes out some scenarios. Chilling. Has anyone ever seen the BBC drama Murdered by my Boyfriend? I was in a severely controlling violent relationship with a jealous man when young, and I'm so glad there weren't any smartphones then, on the rare occasions I wasn't in his presence.

https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2018/06/iot-devices-and-smart-domestic-abuse-who-has-the-controls/

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 07-Jul-18 09:16:50

I was shocked to find out there are people who voluntarily allow their partners to access their Apple accounts/ Google accounts and allow location sharing on their phones.

We were talking just this week at work about a colleague who does this, with incredulity, but apparently this colleague and his wife seem to think it's perfectly normal . Apparently it was the wife's idea.

I don't remotely think this colleague (or his wife) is an abusive controller but the fact they think it is normal and useful to do this would give succour to abusive controllers.

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 07-Jul-18 09:22:00

We were talking, with incredulity, just this week at work ,about a colleague who does this...(correcting the grammar)

QuarksandLeptons Sat 07-Jul-18 09:37:04

That’s a fantastic resource.

Wasn’t there an article on this very recently? I’ll try to find it.

Lass, I have to admit that our whole family use ‘ find friends’ location tracking software- my parents and my siblings and my husband. My husband was actually the one who said he found it creepy and was resistant to using it. However, we now find it invaluable. With DH, he can come and meet me and the little ones if we’re still out when he’s on his way home. Likewise I can see how soon he’ll be back if I’m counting down the minutes when there’s multiple toddler tantrums going on.

With my other family members I can see whether it’s a good time to call as can see if they’re home or not. Plus nice to feel connected as we live across the globe.

Derail aside, I can totally see how this technology could facilitate abuse in the wrong hands though.

Ereshkigal Sat 07-Jul-18 09:41:34

I don't remotely think this colleague (or his wife) is an abusive controller but the fact they think it is normal and useful to do this would give succour to abusive controllers.

Yes in a "why would you not want me to have access, you don't have anything to hide do you?" kind of way.

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 07-Jul-18 09:50:15

Your post Quarks gives me shivers. I would hate to have that level of constant monitoring. The benefits seem nebulous in the extreme.

QuarksandLeptons Sat 07-Jul-18 09:51:37

Thanks for the article Erishkigal
It’s very dystopian. We’ve got all this amazing technology but as humans always do, it’s been used to abuse, humiliate and control others

QuarksandLeptons Sat 07-Jul-18 09:59:51

I’m a technophile Lass, enjoy a good gadget and generally embrace them all at least trying them out for a bit. I’m pretty clued up on how things work though and use additional privacy online with various programs / specific settings.

We don’t have any camera / Alexa etc as I wasn’t able to find a way that gave us the long term safety and privacy we need.

Can totally understand your discomfort at the thought of it though. No one in our family would mind if any of us switched off the function.

QuarksandLeptons Sat 07-Jul-18 10:07:30

Here’s the recent article on the same topic from the guardian:

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/01/smart-home-devices-internet-of-things-domestic-abuse

And another in the New York Times

www.nytimes.com/2018/06/23/technology/smart-home-devices-domestic-abuse.html

SuperDandy Sat 07-Jul-18 10:15:08

Most people are terribly naive about smart tech of this sort. I'm amazed that's anyone thinks Alexa is worth being listened in on 24/7 by a massive corporate with shady morals.

GrainneWail Sat 07-Jul-18 10:17:23

This is really interesting, thanks for posting the links - Dh's job is all about IoT so I've sent them on. We have an alexa at home who would be utterly useless for spying on anyone as she can't seem to understand even direct instructions, so she's on mute a lot (I fully understand how it would be a huge problem in an abusive situation though) but we've both agreed that location tracker apps are a bit creepy. I would completely wig out of dh turned up at the park on his way home if I hadn't actually told him/arranged to meet. We have differed on our house alarm though. It's monitored by an app so we both get a notification when it's turned on or off. Dh was laughing the other morning that the children had forgotten things going to school so the alarm was set and unset 3 times in about 3 minutes, but I was a bit squeamish about it.

LangCleg Sat 07-Jul-18 10:18:42

Blimey. I've just spent ages reading a lot of this stuff. I think I need time to digest then I'll go back and read it again. It's eye-opening.

LassWiADelicateAir Sat 07-Jul-18 10:27:40

Re Alexa- I still can't work out what the point is. There is nothing in this article which makes me think my life would be improved one iota by having Alexa.

www.pocket-lint.com/smart-home/news/amazon/138846-what-is-alexa-how-does-it-work-and-what-can-amazons-alexa-do

BettyDuMonde Sat 07-Jul-18 13:15:30

Alexa works for the FBI.

ErrolTheDragon Sat 07-Jul-18 15:49:59

An Alexa-type device could be very useful indeed for people with various physical disabilities, I would think. But for the able bodied, no, I don't get it.

When we were doing the uni open day rounds with DD, one electronics dept. demoed applications they were developing for (iirc) wearables and monitors intended to help elderly or disabled people live independently- stuff like working out if they were mobile and eating etc. Which is well intentioned and again, potentially useful but...

WhatTheWatersShowedMe Sat 07-Jul-18 18:08:12

I will never ever consent to living in a “smart home”. I can see how it would be useful for those who are less able bodied, but it creeps the fuck out of me and i don’t understand how they’d make my life easier.

womanformallyknownaswoman Sat 07-Jul-18 19:38:38

Something like 90% of dv victims experience tech abuse of one form or another - mostly email, text and FB harassment and stalking. About 20% experience sophisticated stalking and harassment using tech - monitoring gps on car, weaponising wifi router to monitor all traffic as well as invisible apps monitoring phone traffic. Combined with microphones in soft toys and in home where women can't afford the service to detect them and pretty soon the target is nearly sent insane.

The IOT devices add another layer of complexity to cyberstalking - because most are launched with zero security to prevent their misuse ( not a big deal to stop it if only manufacturers were forced to).

Yet again women at their most vulnerable are targeted in a tech guerilla war where there is zero help - police are inept technically and dismiss any reports unless accompanied by evidence -and the evidence is very hard to obtain unless it's simple overt harassment. Women have to change phones and laptops as a precaution but many have no funds to buy replacements.

It makes me ropable that the tech world is virtually lawless and that's a testament to the lack of appropriate competencies in those in law enforcement and in power who should have foreseen this as it was obvious decades ago.

More women get murdered by intimate partners than people killed by terrorism in UK, as in most developed countries yet who gets the funding fir cyber security ? You can be sure it's not the women who need cyber protection that get help but are instead left as "open goals" for their hostile and malicious exes. All ignored by politicians and law enforcement

Good resource but really think about it - when women have left abuse they are overwhelmed and devastated mostly - it's not a reasonable expectation for them to undertake sophisticated cyber precautions never mind get their head around a document like this.

RiddleyW Sat 07-Jul-18 19:44:56

DH can see where I am which is useful for telling our 3 year old when I’m nearly home and fir getting the dinner on (he’s a SAHD).

I can see how it could be creepy though and actually I do find it occasionally annoying/ intrusive. For me the benefits outweigh the negatives.

RiddleyW Sat 07-Jul-18 19:46:26

Oh and another vote for change the title - don’t understand where gender comes in. Do you mean women and the IOT?

ErrolTheDragon Sat 07-Jul-18 20:06:53

The thread title is exactly what the compilers of the list decided to call it. Not clear to me why, because people of either sex may be either abused by or abusers of IoT. Maybe the 'gender' comes from the stereotype that women are uninterested in technology, that it's Man Stuff, plus that men are more likely to be coercive controllers and domestic abusers so in that sense there is a 'gender' bias?

Perfectly reasonable of the OP to replicate the title, just that it needs something that will grab the attention of the people who need it.

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