Smart home gadgets in domestic abuse warning

Latest news

    woman in home with camera deviceImage copyright Getty Images

    A list offering guidance to those affected by smart home devices being used to control or harass them within abusive relationships has been published online.

    It is largely aimed at women.

    A recent report by the New York Times detailed examples of “technology-facilitated abuse”.

    This involves devices being activated remotely in order to cause fear or confusion – such as remotely altering the temperature or locking doors.

    A woman who runs a shelter for victims of domestic violence in the US told the newspaper some were “losing control” of their own homes.

    The UK team behind the “tech abuse” list, including researchers from Privacy International and University College London, says it was created to “better inform and guide victims of technology-facilitated abuse as well as those working with them”.

    It is divided into advice about:

    • the internet of things – devices and gadgets connected and controlled via the net
    • digital security for women and children

    Cyber-security expert Prof Alan Woodward, from Surrey University, told the BBC smart devices could be intimidating to use, especially if installed by others.

    “Imagine how you can make someone feel small and stupid because they can’t operate smart gadgets ‘properly’ – and how you can convince the abused person how much they need you because only you can operate it,” he said.

    “What everyone needs to remember is that user-shaming in whatever context shows a failure of the designers, not the users.”

    Security researcher Ken Munro said there were many cases of former partners using technology to abuse an ex. In some cases, he said, the only way to lock out the access partners used to enjoy was by replacing the gadget entirely.

    He said it was “critical” to review smart home tech when a relationship ended.

    View the original article:

    “You would probably change the door locks on your home in the event of your partner moving out. You should seriously consider changing your smart locks too,” he said in a blog exploring the subject.

    In the same category are

    Anjem Choudary: Security concerns over radical preacher release Image copyright PA Security concerns have been raised about the imminent release from prison of the radical preacher Anjem Choudary and other suppor...
    Police ‘aware’ undercover officer was in relationship Image caption Ms Wilson's two-year long relationship with Mark Kennedy began in 2003 Police have admitted for the first time that an undercover of...
    Syracuse New York shooting ‘leaves five injured’ Image copyright Getty Images Five people, a child among them, have been injured in a shooting in the city of Syracuse in the US state of New York, l...
    Italy opens probe into Ryanair hand luggage charges Image copyright Getty Images Italy's competition watchdog has opened a inquiry into Ryanair's decision to charge people to take hand luggage on to t...
    UKIP bids to be ‘radical, populist’ party UKIP should become a "radical, populist party" standing up for free speech against the "politically-correct thought police", says its leader.Its "in...
    Cat killer mystery solved, but how do we keep our pets safe? Image copyright Jerome family Image caption Ukiyo was thought to be a victim of the Croydon cat killer It was the murder mystery that kept police ...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.