UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy


Updated “Gender and IoT” resource list launched on International Women’s Day 2019

8 March 2019

A new publication offers much-needed advice and guidance on technology-facilitated forms of abuses.

Image of a woman with a smart device

UCL’s Gender and IoT (G-IoT) has launched its latest resource list to better inform and guide victims and survivors of technology-facilitated abuse (“tech abuse”) as well as those working with them. The publication coincides with International Women’s Day (#IWD2019), the annual global day that calls to action for accelerating gender equality and aims to celebrate the political, social, economic, and cultural achievements of women.

Why Tech Abuse?

Domestic violence and abuse continue to affect primarily women and girls, with more than 1.3 million women in England and Wales having reported to experience domestic abuse ending March 2018. In recent years, forms of online harassment and sexual abuse facilitated through information and communication technologies (ICT) emerged. These technology-facilitated abuse cases describe the subversion of technological systems such as physical objects or network-enabled devices to coerce, control, and harm a person or groups of individuals.

Tech abuse stretches across an array of applications and platforms and encompasses a diversity of actions, tools, and tactics. As technologies, especially digital technologies, are continuously evolving, so are their forms of exploitation and misapplication. In light of the increasing number of “smart”, Internet-connected devices, UCL’s G-IoT research team has started to examine the gender-based implications of “Internet of Things” (IoT) systems. The latter includes smart meters, locks, and cameras, with a G-IoT policy leaflet offering information on the full extent of these IoT systems in our households.

The Resource List

The updated resource list brings together new links to organisations which produce guidelines and advice on tech abuse and serves as a reference point for victims and survivors as well as statutory and voluntary support services. The original version of the resource list was released in July 2018 and has since then been widely used to inform on common cybersecurity practices and privacy risks. The resource list includes an IoT-specific section, general resources on digital security for women, and points to digital security best practices for children.

You can freely access and download the resource list here.