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Understanding Digital Safety Experiences of Intimate Partner Violence and Youth Survivors

28 Sep
Wednesday, 09/28/2022 12:20pm to 1:30pm
Computer Science Building, Room 150/151 or Zoom
Rising Stars
Speaker: Diana Freed

Abstract: Digital technologies, such as mobile devices, IoT devices, social virtual reality, and social networks, play an increasingly significant role in both perpetrating harm to, and creating opportunities for, vulnerable populations and individuals marginalized by digital inequities. As a result, special care has to be invested to understand the sociotechnical complexities inherent to privacy and security practices of these groups. In this talk I will discuss my research on understanding and mitigating technology-facilitated abuse in the context of youth abuse and intimate partner violence (IPV). IPV survivors increasingly report that abusers install spyware on devices, track locations, monitor communications, and cause emotional and physical harm. In addition, there is a limited understanding of the landscape of digital threats and harms youth experience. I will first discuss my research on threat models and mitigation strategies in the IPV ecosystem. I will then describe the youth digital abuse ecosystem and threat models that include cyberbullying and harassment, sexual violence, and financial exploitation, with attacks carried out by peers, partners, family, and strangers, spanning across platforms and into the physical world. Finally, I will highlight the need for a landscape view of digital safety and suggest directions for better protective ecosystems.

Bio: Diana Freed is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer and Information Science at Cornell University. Her research interests are in human-computer interaction, usable security and privacy, technology policy, and digital health. Her research focuses on designing, developing, and evaluating sociotechnical systems in the context of youth interpersonal relationships, intimate partner violence, and caregiving systems. She also develops tools and resources to improve digital literacy to enable individuals to make informed choices regarding technology use and to improve understanding of digital risks and harms. Diana leads the Youth Tech Safety Project at the Cornell Social Media Lab. She is a 2022-23 research affiliate at CITAP-UNC. She is a recipient of the Meta Research Fellowship, a Digital Life Doctoral Fellowship, a Data and Society Research Institute Fellowship, as well as a Visiting Scholar and graduate of NYU and Columbia University. Diana's research has been recognized with an ACM CHI Best Paper Award, ACM CSCW Honorable Mention, and a CSCW paper recognition for her contribution to Diversity and Inclusion. Her research has been featured by media outlets that include The New York Times, MIT Technology Review, Wired, NPR, and Time Magazine. 

A pizza lunch for attendees will be available at 11:45 a.m. in CS 150.

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