We are organising a workshop on female-oriented technologies

Teresa Almeida, a researcher at the Interactive Technologies Institute,  is organising the Cyfer Creative Exchange extended workshop. The event is a part of the Mozilla Festival 2023, from March 20-24. Female-oriented technologies are its primary focus.

The privacy, ethics and security of female-oriented technology

The workshop will bring together researchers and artists to address female-oriented technologies’ privacy, ethics, trust, and security.  In fact, these topics remain largely unregulated. The lack of clarity in the law and uncertainty surrounding industry and user practices pose a significant challenge for safeguarding susceptible data on different levels, including user consent, third-party sharing, and algorithmic bias.

The participants will be able to explore of research problems and why artists were invited to address them. Participants will have two twenty-minute opportunities to interact in-depth with two artists’ and designers’ work. Following these interactions, the group will share reactions and discuss the privacy, ethics, trust, and security issues of female-oriented technologies.

The research project

The Cyfer project examines cybersecurity, privacy, bias, and trust in female-oriented technologies, focusing on apps and IoT devices. The EPSRC PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity funds the project. It involves researchers from Royal Holloway University of London, Surrey University, Umeå University, and Newcastle University.

The FemTech industry promises to enable women to take control of their bodies and lives. For example, it aims to help women overcome the many existing challenges in health and medical care and research. There are already over 1300 FemTech companies offering a vast range of products, with a market size of $40.2 billion in 2020 alone. However, the lack of clarity in the law and the industry’s practice in relation to sensitive data on different levels, including user consent, third-party sharing, and algorithmic bias, poses significant challenges.

The Cyfer project looks to build on previous research work and achieve its aims by evaluating the security and privacy of FemTech, investigating user perception and practice and studying socio-technical bias and trust in data, algorithms, and AI systems. Additionally, the project looks to work with other researchers, industrial partners, artists, designers, etc., worldwide and welcomes more collaborations.

The Cyfer Creative Exchange workshop allows researchers and artists to engage in an interactive experience of creative responses to research challenges on female-oriented technology’s privacy, ethics, trust, and security. Therefore, it provides a platform for collaboration and discussion on an important issue affecting women’s privacy and security worldwide. The organisation provides more information on the workshop’s website.