Internet of Things provides new vector for domestic abuse


In August 2018, domestic abuse victims, their lawyers, shelter workers, and emergency responders began finding that the Internet of Things was becoming an alarming new tool for harassment, monitoring, revenge, and control. Smartphone apps enable abusers to remotely control everyday objects inside their targets homes and use them to watch, listen, scare, or intimidate. Lack of knowledge about how the technology works and uncertainty about how much control the abusive partner has  add a layer of difficulty to the problem of making it stop. Uninstalling the devices can escalate the conflict and lead to violence, and also may further isolate the victims. At UCL, Leonie Tanczer's research in this area, in collaboration with the London Violence Against Women and Girls Consortium, Privacy International, and the PETRAS Research Hub has developed guidance for those working to help victims.

writer: Nellie Bowles; UCL
publication: New York Times; UCL
publication date: 2018-08-23; 2018-02-06

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