Privacy Threats in Intimate Relationships

Journal of Cybersecurity 6: 1-13 (2020)

13 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020

See all articles by Karen Levy

Karen Levy

Cornell University

Bruce Schneier

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: June 6, 2020

Abstract

This article provides an overview of intimate threats: a class of privacy threats that can arise within our families, romantic partnerships, close friendships, and caregiving relationships. Many common assumptions about privacy are upended in the context of these relationships, and many otherwise effective protective measures fail when applied to intimate threats. Those closest to us know the answers to our secret questions, have access to our devices, and can exercise coercive power over us. We survey a range of intimate relationships and describe their common features. Based on these features, we explore implications for both technical privacy design and policy, and offer design recommendations for ameliorating intimate privacy risks.

Keywords: intimacy, family, abuse, children, relationships, privacy, security

Suggested Citation

Levy, Karen and Schneier, Bruce, Privacy Threats in Intimate Relationships (June 6, 2020). Journal of Cybersecurity 6: 1-13 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620883

Karen Levy (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Bruce Schneier

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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