UK Professor Partners with Google to Bring Home IAPP SOUPS Privacy Award for Research on Gender and Technology

In August 2018, the paper titled “Privacy is not for me, it’s for those rich women”: Performative Privacy Practices on Mobile Phones by Women in South Asia received the IAPP Privacy Award at the Fourteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2018). 

David Nemer, assistant professor of information communication technology in the School of Information Science, a part of UK’s College of Communication and Information, collaborated with researchers from Google, Information Technology University, North South University, Universidad de Colima, and Independent Researcher to explore gender and technology in South Asia.  

According to the abstract, “Women in South Asia own fewer personal devices like laptops and phones than women elsewhere in the world. Further, cultural expectations dictate that they should share mobile phones with family members and their digital activities be open to scrutiny by family members.” 

Researchers conducted a qualitative study in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh and found that the population was employing practices, such as managing phone and app locks, deleting content, avoiding technology, or using private modes. 

“This is part of a larger research project where we are focusing on gender and technology in various countries globally, to help us understand what is the experience of women and non-binary folks with technology and how designers can be more inclusive. Just like in the offline world, gender discrimination persists online. ICT affordances can amplify these inequities; however, they also have the ability to alleviate them- and this what we are working on.” 

SOUPS 2018, in cooperation with USENIX, the Advanced Computing Systems Association, took place August 12-14, 2018 at the USENIX Security Symposium in Baltimore, MD. The symposium publishes its papers in their proceedings and it follows a revise and resubmit process. According to Google Scholar, it is the field’s fourth venue. 

“Nithya Sambasivan, Google, has been doing a wonderful job leading this research project and team. She represented us at SOUPS 2018 where she presented our paper and received the award. Google will release the final report very soon and we are all excited about its impact.” 

The full paper is available here.