Hyper-privacy: Case of Domestic Violence (Hyper-DoVe)

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Computing Sciences

Abstract

This Research in the Wild project addresses the "Sustainable Society" challenges by applying technologies in tackling problems associated with domestic violence, enabling victims of domestic violence to obtain support and assistance, and therefore improving their quality of life.

Increasingly individuals embrace mobile and internet technologies as an integral part of their daily lives. As a result, various concerns have been raised with regard to privacy and social implications of living with and through such technologies. This project investigates and responds to these concerns by exploring the needs and challenges associated with hyper-privacy. By "hyper-privacy", we mean situations where privacy is so paramount that any privacy breach or information leakage could lead to psychological harm, physical harm or even death.

We propose that one situation where hyper-privacy is crucial is that of domestic violence, where victims of domestic violence require hyper-privacy in order to safely seek help, or even in accessing certain online resources. However, the current reality for a victim of domestic violence is that any attempt to seek help, either from friends and family or from support organisations, is likely to attract attention and risk further abuse.

In 2010-2011, we collaborated with the Angelou Centre, a North East support centre for Black and Minority Ethnic women in investigating the technological issues that most affect victims of domestic violence. The purpose of the study was to understand these issues better and thereby improve the accessibility of digital support services aimed at helping victims. Our research so far shows that victims have two major barriers to successfully accessing the support services they require:
- locating the support services and the organisations that provide them;
- fear of provoking further abuse if their abuser discovers that they have been seeking help.

In effect, victims are being excluded from the socio-technical systems that the rest of us take for granted due to their personal circumstances. The objective of our research is to overcome these barriers by refining, developing and evaluating a toolkit of hyper-privacy technologies that enable users to achieve hyper-privacy while accessing information online, with minimum effort and without leaving digital record of their visit.

In order to design and develop hyper-privacy technologies appropriate for use by end users experiencing domestic violence, it is vital that these end users, and staff at support centres, are involved in all aspects of the design and evaluation of such technologies so that they sufficiently meet the end users' needs and requirements. In response, our methodology incorporates participatory, experience-centred design methods to ensure that women's voices, needs and requirements are well accommodated for in resulting designs and technologies from the outset of the project. Further to this, we take an iterative design, development and evaluation approach and by doing so seek to create a range of opportunities and spaces through which end users and service providers can engage with and influence the design and implementation of hyper-privacy technologies.

We acknowledge that even well-designed technology will not be a single solution to our end users' hyper-privacy needs. Education/training will also need to be provided to achieve workable and practical hyper-privacy solutions. For example, we have conducted technology training for regional Independent Sexual/Domestic Violence Agencies (ISVA/IDVA) in collaboration with the Centre for Cybercrime and Computer Security and the Northumbria Criminal Justice Board (http://cccs.ncl.ac.uk/regional-victim-charities-back-in-the-class-room.html). To reflect this understanding, this project will also investigate how such education and training can be achieved and improved further, resulting in a set of guidelines and best practices to address these issues.

Planned Impact

Who Might Benefit
Various groups of people will benefit from hyper-privacy feature, in particular victims of domestic and sexual violence for accessing digital support services without leaving tell-tale electronic footprints that might lead to further violence from their abuser. Moreover, staff at women's support centres will also benefit, as the solutions implemented in this project will enable them to provide cost-effective and directly practical assistance to the victims.
The work will also be useful for researchers in computing science (including security, privacy and trust; Human Computer Interaction, especially experience-centred interaction design and usability), as well as social sciences (including deployment in the wild; cultural and social issues in technology uptake; and qualitative and quantitative evaluation). In particular, the work will benefit interdisciplinary researchers working in the design, development, and deployment of usable socio-technical systems addressing sensitive issues.

How Might They Benefit
The socioeconomic impact will be achieved through direct engagement with Independent Sexual/Domestic Violence Agencies (ISVA/IDVA) support centres in the North East of England (e.g. http://cccs.ncl.ac.uk/regional-victim-charities-back-in-the-class-room.html), in particular with our Project Partner, the Angelou Centre. Moreover, we have connection with all ISVA/IDVA in the region through our other Project Partner, the Northumbria Local Criminal Justice Board. We have designated and trained representatives of the Angelou Centre in using digital technologies before, and this project will provide continuation of our collaboration with them. Through these centres, the benefits of this research will then be passed on to the victims of domestic violence. We will monitor the progress of the deployment of our solutions through constant and direct interaction with our Project Partners, adjusting our solutions where necessary, and at all times we strive to ensure that the deployed technology will make a positive difference to these victims.
The investigators are Computer Science researchers with extensive interdisciplinary experience, combining skills and knowledge in interaction design, system implementation, human aspects of computer-based systems, security, privacy and trust. Close collaboration with researchers from relevant disciplines will be pursued and facilitated throughout the project. This will open up and foster dialogue among these interdisciplinary researchers in "understanding people" aspect, as well as in covering important issues associated with designing for vulnerable people.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The use of digital technologies for hyper-privacy needs to be done with careful consideration of overall user requirements, e.g. by using the notion of sensible privacy as defined through this project.
Exploitation Route The notion of sensible privacy may be a useful concept in any discussion about privacy.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy

 
Description The project has delivered a number of technology proposals for victims of domestic and sexual violence. These technologies have received a lot of attention by (1) victim organisation, (2) law enforcement, (3) press. We have achieved improved awareness how digital technology can help victims.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Societal

 
Description FinTrust: Trust Engineering for the Financial Industry
Amount £1,000,000 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/R033595/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2018 
End 07/2021
 
Description 608030 Independent Services for Victims of Domestic/Sexual Violence 
Organisation SixtyEightyThirty
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Participant pool for studies and collaboration in further projects.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Angelou Centre (Independent Support for Victims of Domestic/Sexual Violence) 
Organisation Angelou Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Understanding perpetrator behaviour in exerting control on survivors via their phones and usability of mobile phone tools.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Durham University 
Organisation Durham University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Collaboration with CRiVa (the Centre for Research into violence and Abuse: https://www.dur.ac.uk/criva/) of Durham for joint workshops, perpetrator user pool and further projects.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Hanover University 
Organisation Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Academic and technology partner for future projects
Start Year 2013
 
Description Metropolitan Police 
Organisation Metropolitan Police Service
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Met Police UK
Start Year 2013
 
Description Programm gege Zwangsheirat 
Organisation Programm gegen Zwangsheirat
Country Switzerland 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Social care partner: Swiss Forced-Marriage (zwangsheirat.ch )
Start Year 2013
 
Description 608030 open day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We participated in an open day at 608030, Hexham, Northumberland, NE46 9FY on Monday 4th November 2013 and attended a workshop session with 608030's Freedom programme on the 14th of November 2013.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description 7th North East Conference on Sexual Violence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The seventh in a series of annual conferences in recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women organised by Criva of Durham University Durham University Queen's Campus, University Boulevard, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees, TS17 6BH on Monday 18th November 2013.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description COmmonwealth Leaders 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact CSC Leaders is an annual conference which assembles 120 exceptional senior individuals from across the Commonwealth to tackle challenges that businesses, governments and society face today and build the global relationships needed by the leaders of tomorrow. It took place on the 26th of March 2014.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description Discovery: Victims Of Abuse Seek Help Safely With New App 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Victims Of Abuse Seek Help Safely With New App.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description EPSRC pioneer magazine, Issue 5, pp. 5. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Participants in your research or patient groups
Results and Impact http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Publications/pioneer/Pioneer11.pdf.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/SiteCollectionDocuments/Publications/pioneer/Pioneer11.pdf
 
Description Eliminating Domestic Violence in Europe: Implementing Strategies for Protection and Prevention 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Participation in the European workshop in Brussels on the 17th September 2013 which was aimed at:

- Examine the current strategy and framework for tackling domestic abuse and gender-based violence and explore future policy developments.

- Understand the challenges and typologies of all forms of domestic violence and abuse, and explore

potential solutions and prevention

- Exchange good practices from cross-border projects and analyse comparative knowledge of shaping the use of technology in the field of intimate partner violence



Attendees included European domestic violence co-ordinators, police service, child protection agencies, health service professionals and academics and researchers.
.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
 
Description Le Monde article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 5. http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2013/05/27/anti-violences-domestiques-2-0_3418189_1650684.html.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.lemonde.fr/sciences/article/2013/05/27/anti-violences-domestiques-2-0_3418189_1650684.htm...
 
Description Metropolitan Police visit 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We visited the Metropolitan Police on the 28th of February 2014. The purpose of the visit was to demonstrate our work in NFC credit / debit card security and mobile Apps to assist survivors domestic violence. The presentation was to the Met Police Detective Chief Super Intendant and his staff:

http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Detective-Chief-Superintendent-Darren-Williams/1400006499211/mertonaboutus?scope_id=1257246764216
.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Detective-Chief-Superintendent-Darren-Williams/1400006499211/me...
 
Description Radio Newcastle 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/about/news/item/radio-newcastle-erasing-electronic-footprints.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.ncl.ac.uk/computing/about/news/item/radio-newcastle-erasing-electronic-footprints