Emerging technologies like IoT, can both be a boon or bane, with increased IoT adoption, and connected IoT devices estimated to reach 30 billion by 2020, it is high time we look at the evil side of IoT. With hundreds of IoT devices connected on a home network, the network attack surface has drastically increased, allowing multiple points of network vulnerabilities, through which hackers or bad players can breach into the network. Apart from these network vulnerabilities, IoT is increasingly being implemented by violent and controlling people.
As per a WHO report titled “Violence against women”, published on Nov. 29th, 2017, about 1 in 3 (i.e. 35%) of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. These numbers are frightening. Today, the IoT devices with increased network connectivity have penetrated deep into third world households, and with its immense power the IoT tech can play a bigger role in domestic violence and abuse, analysts fear.
The technology should not harm anyone, should be the mantra of IoT.
Researchers and lecturers at the University College London (UCL), are working on a project titled “Gender and IoT”. The theme of the project is to understand how the IoT tech can be leveraged wrongly for gender-based domestic violence and abuse, and socio-technical measures that can be undertaken to tackle these issues.
The team at UCL comprises, Dr. Leonie Tanczer, Dr. Simon Parkin, Dr. Trupti Patel, and Prof. George Danezis, who are looking at how the IoT can (and likely will) contribute to gender-based domestic violence. The interdisciplinary project is a part of the PETRAS IoT Research Hub.