Trust and Abusability Toolkit: Centering Safety in Human-Data Interactions

Timeframe: 2021
Funder: EPSRC HDI Network+

As people who use smartphones, computers, or other smart devices, we interact with and produce data on a daily basis. This data is then used by people, companies, work places, or organisations for a variety of different goals – including harmful ones. For example, data and technologies can be abused to stalk, harass, harm, or gaslight individuals. This can be referred to as tech abuse or technology-mediated abuse and can lead to mental and physical harm to victim-survivors and is perpetrated not just by anonymous people on the internet, but can also take place within the intimacy of interpersonal relationships. Our project developed strategies for how support workers, technology developers, researchers, and teachers can better centre peoples’ safety in technologies. We present resources and two concepts: abusability and trust, which can help us better build safer technologies by anticipating abusability of features and questioning why people should trust our systems.  

This project was done in collaboration with Julia Slupska (Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University), Dr Rosanna Bellini (Newcastle University & Cornell Tech), Prof Gina Neff (Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy), Prof Lynne Coventry (PaCT Lab, Northumbria University), Adam Dodge (EndTAB), and Tara Hairston (Coalition Against Stalkerware)

Download the toolkit, including all the resources, here:

Toolkit Launch Event Recording