UCL Publishes Resource List for Victims of Smart Device-Aided Domestic Abuse

By Nitish Singh / July 7, 2018

The University College of London has put together a list of resources that can aid victims subjected to domestic abuse using smart devices. A recent report was published that revealed the increase in the use of smart home devices for domestic abuse. The six-page resource was published by the University College of London with the help of social workers and researchers from multiple organizations including G-IoT, London Violence Against Women and Girl, PETRAS IoT Research Hub, Privacy International and Consortium.

While smart devices are designed to make life easier, technology also has its scope of misuse as well. Over thirty interviews were conducted by the New York Times which revealed that devices like smart speakers, thermostats, surveillance cameras and other devices are being used for domestic abuse.

While both men and women can be subject to harassment using such devices, the victims are mostly women. It is usually men who install smart home devices and have access to the apps to control them, making it difficult for women to prevent instances of abuse.

The resource list published by the University College of London is a compilation of written works, blogs and a list of organizations which victims of domestic abuse can reach out to. The UCL also published a guide to deal with technology that can be used for domestic abuse and it details how the technology functions and how they can be neutralized if misused.

The authors revealed that they would be regularly updating the document to help the victims out. While the compilation of resource is helpful, it does not seek to be a replacement to a specialist or legal help. Victims are recommended by the UCL to notify legal authorities as soon as possible.

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