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Securing the ‘Internet of Things’ for Victim-Survivors of Family Violence: Reflections on ‘safety by design’ strategies

The ‘internet of things’ (IoT) poses significant threats to victim-survivors of family violence. It is increasingly observed that IoT can be used to abuse, harass, surveill, and intimidate intimate partners, family members, and targets of stalking. This presentation will reflect upon the various potential steps to counter and remedy abusive use of IoT devices. Reporting on some findings from original research on a ‘dip sample’ of consumer IoT devices, the potential of ‘safety by design’ approaches will be explored.

To what extent can abusive possibilities be addressed at the design-stage of IoT devices? And what else can be done by government, law enforcement, and practioners within the family and domestic violence survivor advocacy sector to manage this issue? Presenters: Dr Diarmaid Harkin (Senior Lecturer, Criminology, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University) and Ms Andi Brown (PhD candidate, Criminology, School of Political and Social Inquiry, Monash University).