University College London, July 2018

Smart Home Devices in Domestic Abuse

Smart home devices are increasingly being used in domestic abuse to control and manipulate victims. Researchers from the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy at University College London (UCL) have published guidance for organisations working with those at risk.

Dual Use: Convenience/Abuse

Smart home Technology is on the rise and promises convenience.  This internet-connected convenience for operating locks, speakers, thermostats, lights and cameras may also be used as a means for harassment, monitoring, revenge and control (see (Bowles, "Thermostats, Locks and Lights: Digital Tools of Domestic Abuse", New York Times, 23 June 2018).

The G-IoT Resource List

Several teams of researchers and advocates working on the intersection of domestic violence and digital surveillance have assembled a "Gender and IoT (G-IoT) Resource List" for (potential) victims. The six-pages long G-IoT Resource List not only points to helpful sources (like blogs, papers, organisations, etc.) providing information on:

  • Understanding: how smart homes work, and
  • Protection: how to make one’s home life less vulnerable to digital threats.

The G-IoT Resource List serves as a reference point to provide additional information on common cybersecurity and privacy issues. In this regard, the G-IoT Resource List specifies organisations which produce guidelines and advice, and highlights known methods of abuse which perpetrators may exploit.

Tanczer/Patel/Parkin/Danezis, "Gender and IoT (G-IoT) Resource List", July 2018

UCL, "Smart home gadgets in domestic abuse warning", 10 July 2018

Verlag Dr. Otto Schmidt vom 11.07.2018 10:59

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