The UCL-led “Gender and IoT” (G-IoT) project received further media coverage in the Evening Standard, Reuters, and BBC World Business Report for its research looking at the implications of IoT technologies on victims of domestic violence and abuse.
Both the Evening Standard and Reuters cite data from Refuge, a charity providing specialist support for women and children experiencing domestic violence. The organisation revealed that almost 1000 women have contacted them in the past year looking for help after their partners used technologies such as smartphones or other devices to control and stalk them.
Dr Leonie Tanczer, project lead, was quoted in the Evening Standard as saying: “Because IoT devices collect so much data and we have so many different accounts and shared passwords, this exacerbates the forms of abuse we see. If someone was to suspect something fishy was going on in their home, our guide tells them how to check specific devices and features, physically and online.”
She urges manufacturers both in her interview with BBC World Service as well as the Reuters article to “consider more carefully how to safeguard users against the devices” abuse, and goes on to say that “Just the question of ‘have you thought about how your devices could be misused?’ is one that should be standard in any production cycle.”