Save the Date! 2019 Confidentiality Conference for Federally Funded Victim Service Providers

COMING SOON!

2019 Confidentiality Conference for

Federally Funded Victim Service Providers

Confidentiality Conference 2019 Save The Date

Advocates are saying:

“Some survivors don’t reach out because they’re worried about mandated reporting requirements. This gets in the way of us being able to help.”

“What if no one on staff speaks the survivor’s language? How do we find a translator they feel safe with? And what agreements should be in place to protect victims’ privacy?”

“We get pressure from our community partners to share victim information. When we don’t, they get frustrated and that makes collaboration difficult.”

“We don’t have a policy for how to handle confidentiality obligations if there’s an emergency at our shelter.”

Is your agency facing similar difficulties?

Mark your calendar and join us September 9th & 10th in Atlanta, GA for the 2019 National Confidentiality Conference – Strictly Confidential: Protecting Survivor Privacy in Federally Funded Programs!

This training, provided by the National Network to End Domestic Violence and The Confidentiality Institute will help you, as victim service providers, navigate complex federal confidentiality obligations, through in-depth analysis, peer sharing, and scenario problem solving. Participants will explore the many layers of privacy, confidentiality obligations, and technology in a tangible way. Learn how to implement best practices related to privacy and confidentiality while providing survivor-centered services, and how to build strategic relationships with community partners, while respecting your information sharing limitations.

The conference will cover a variety of topics including:

  • Mandated reporting

  • Community collaborations

  • Upholding confidentiality in emergency situations

  • Navigating language access and confidentiality

  • Handling official third party demands for survivor information

  • Selecting and using databases

  • Agency use of technology

  • Implementing survivor-centered best practices

Attendees will gain a deeper understanding of these issues and will be given resources and tools to better serve survivors.

Can’t wait to see you there!

OVW approval pending. Registration will launch this summer! 

Please contact us with any questions. 

 

New Toolkit: Working with Survivors using Text or Chat

Safety Net is happy to announce our new Digital Services Toolkit, filled with resources for local programs who are considering providing services via text, chat, video call, and other digital technologies. Whether your program is just curious, in the process of selecting a vendor, or wanting to improve the privacy and safety of services you already provide, this Toolkit is for you!

The resources include three sections:

In addition to written resources, we’ll be offering a series of webinars in late Spring covering these topics, as well as tailored technical assistance to answer any of your program’s questions. Contact us for more information.

Data Privacy Day 2019: Location Data & Survivor Safety

As we mark Data Privacy Day this year, data about all of us is increasingly collected, shared, and sold: our likes, our account activity, even our movements throughout the day. This is a concern for anyone who owns a mobile phone or uses the internet. But, for survivors of domestic violence, this erosion of privacy can be a risk to safety.

It is important to be clear about the line between consumer privacy risks that anyone might find concerning, and specific risks to the privacy and safety of survivors. Weak consumer privacy protections impact all of us, and yet they can become particularly dangerous for survivor privacy and safety, if exploited by abusers. At the same time, strengthening one can strengthen the other.

For example, location data gathered from the very technology that makes mobile phones work is for sale, as Motherboard revealed in a recent article. They report that cell phone companies, “are selling access to their customers' location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.”

The risk for survivors is that an unauthorized person like a private investigator could find a survivor’s location at the request of a client who is abusive. While we haven’t yet heard about a case where a survivor was located, those who work with survivors will wonder, “What can we do to support survivor safety?”

An option we often suggest in the safety planning process, is that a survivor can turn off location sharing in their apps and in their device settings. But in this case, location data is generated as the phone pings nearby cell towers, and this has to happen for the phone to receive calls and to use data – basically to work in the way a mobile phone works.

So, our usual advice to turn off location sharing in settings won’t help. Here are other options:

  • Consider leaving the phone behind when traveling to places you don’t want the abuser to know about, and carry a second phone that the abusive partner doesn’t know about

  • Turn off the phone or put it in airplane mode (where cell signal and WiFi are off)

  • Put the phone in a signal blocking bag or container.

  • Remember that the moment the phone connects back to the cell network in a new location, the location data will be tracked.

The big picture take away is that everyone has an interest in working for stronger data privacy protections – for general consumers, and even more so for survivor safety.

Phone location is not the only risk survivors face. Here are some additional resources to increase survivor privacy online and when using mobile devices:

Call for Proposals - Tech Summit 2019

Tech+Summit+2019+Save+The+Date+Horizontal.jpg

We are now accepting presentation proposals for the 2019 Technology Summit. Proposals are due Friday, January 18th.We’re seeking proposals for workshops that provide tools and information to respond to technology abuse, help survivors of abuse use technology safely, enhance services for survivors, and hold offenders accountable. Proposals should be survivor-centered, trauma-informed, and include culturally competent approaches. The session content should include innovative strategies and support best practices. All workshops will be 60-90 minutes long. Follow this link to submit your proposal for the 2019 Technology Summit.

When 

Monday, July 29th - Wednesday, July 31st, 2019 – Main Conference

Thursday, August 1st – State, Territory, and Tribal Coalition Day

Where

San Francisco, CA 

What

This unique 3-day training summit focuses on the intersection of technology and domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking. Covering a wide range of technology-related issues, this conference will be helpful to advocates, law enforcement, and legal professionals who work with survivors of abuse. For more information about previous years’ events you can visit the Technology Summit page or check out the Technology Summit 2018 Program Book.  

Registration

Registration for the Technology Summit will open soon and will be announced with other information through our listservs and on techsafety.org. We have applied for OVW approval.

Please feel free to contact us at safetynet@nnedv.org if you have any other questions. We hope to see you in San Francisco!

Safety Net 2018: Looking Back and Moving Forward

The Safety Net Project spent 2018 continuing to provide training, technical assistance, and advocacy to the field around the intersection of technology and intimate partner violence. In the coming year, we look forward to implementing new trainings and toolkits and continuing to work with partners and funders to address all the ways technology intersects with safety and privacy for survivors. Here’s a quick look at some of our 2018 accomplishments and some of the good work we have ahead of us in 2019.

Technical Assistance

This year we answered over 1,400 requests for technical assistance, spending 775 hours on technical assistance consultations! The most common requests were related to relocation and privacy issues for survivors, responding to technology misuse, and agency use of tech.  In need of Technical Assistance? Fill out our Technical Assistance request form.

Trainings

In 2018, we spent almost 400 hours providing trainings to victim advocates, legal services organizations, law enforcement officers, technology companies, and other community stakeholders. We had the privilege of providing training to not only U.S. based agencies but also internationally. This included agencies in the UK, Singapore, Australia, and Austria, among others. Trainings we provided covered a wide range of issues at the intersection of technology, safety, and privacy. Safety Net is already scheduling trainings throughout 2019!

Legal Systems Toolkit

In September, we launched the much anticipated Legal Systems Toolkit: Understanding & Investigating Technology Misuse. This toolkit helps legal system stakeholders, including law enforcement, attorneys, court personnel, community corrections, and others identify what technology is relevant to a case and how to use technology evidence to hold offenders accountable.

Annual Tech Summit

This year, we hosted our Technology Summit 2018 in San Francisco with our highest attendance rate to date. We had over 320 participants and a great group of technology company representatives and amazing presenters. We also hosted a closed Women of Color in Technology Reception, a closed meeting for Coalition, Territory, and Tribal Coalitions, and an opening reception with demonstrations from technology companies and stations where participants could try products and learn more about technology and privacy. 

Looking Ahead…

Cyberviolence Court Training Initiative

In Spring 2019 Safety Net, in partnership with the National Council for Juvenile and Family Court Judges, will launch the Cyberviolence Court Training Initiative Judges Workshop. This national training will use a new training curriculum to enhance the skills of judges presiding over cases where there is technology misuse.

Smart Victim Tech Secure Communication Platform

The Smart Victim Tech: Equipping and Empowering Victims through Safe Technology Project is an innovative, multi-pronged approach to advance the use of technology to assist victims of crime. In 2019, the project will be releasing a Digital Services Toolkit, and will fund access to the newly launched ResourceConnect secure communication platform for interested local victim service providers, and will launch a new evidence collection app for survivors.

Team Transitions

Lastly, there were some big team transitions in 2018. We said goodbye to Alex Palacios who continues to do victim services work back in his home state of Arizona. We welcomed back Deputy Director, Kaofeng Lee, who worked for two years with our sister Safety Net project in Australia and Rachel Gibson who worked with the National Center on Reaching Victims. We also welcomed Elaina Roberts, who was formerly with the Stalking Resource Center. Looking ahead, we will welcome our newest and smallest Safety Netter in January with the welcomed addition of our Director, Erica Olsen’s, baby!

As the year ends, we reflect on the gratefulness we have for our supporters, tech advocates, funders, and all who work to end violence. We are also grateful to the survivors and direct service advocates who provide us with feedback to guide our work and make us better. We are looking forward to expanding our work to help enhance safety protections for programs and survivors and what #TechSafety means for all.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month

National cybersecurity MOnth Logo

National cybersecurity MOnth Logo

The month of October is often honored as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, but we also acknowledge Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Read more to learn about why cybersecurity is important for survivors of intimate partner violence and how we can create a safe online space, free from violence for all.

New Resource: Legal System Toolkit on Understanding & Investigating Technology Misuse

NNEDV is pleased to announce the launch of our new Toolkit for Law Enforcement & Legal Professionals on Understanding & Investigating Technology Misuse. This toolkit was developed to meet the needs of law enforcement, attorneys, court personnel, community corrections, and other professionals to better serve survivors of technology-facilitated abuse. It provides thorough guides and resources on evidence collection for some of the most common technologies misused by abusers and perpetrators.

Agencies across the country have communicated barriers, such as a lack of funds, that often prevent them from sending staff to in-person trainings for multiple days. We have also heard requests for more comprehensive resources on issues of technology abuse and evidence. We hope this toolkit will provide professionals working within the criminal and civil legal systems with resources to help them respond to the emerging issues that survivors are identifying and struggling with and in doing so improve both safety planning and accountability.

Tech Abuse: Information from the Field

Survey Findings from the Conference on Crimes Against Women

 We are happy to announce the summary of our short survey Tech Abuse: Information from the Field: Survey Findings from the Conference on Crimes Against Women. This survey allowed the Safety Net team to gather information from the field to better guide the work that we do.

For more information on this survey and the findings check out Tech Abuse: Information from the Field: Survey Findings from the Conference on Crimes Against Women.


This survey was conducted by the National Network to End Domestic Violence and funded under the Technology, Abuse, and Safety Project awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice (2016-TA-AX-K069)

Tech Summit 2018 Recap

HIGHLIGHTS FROM TECH SUMMIT 2018

HIGHLIGHTS FROM TECH SUMMIT 2018

The month of July is always jam-packed for the Safety Net team. This past July, we hosted the 6th Annual Technology Summit in San Francisco, California. This year saw more participants, more sessions, and more ways to connect than ever before. We welcomed over 300 staff, victim service providers, law enforcement, trainers, and technology partners to engage, connect, and learn more about the intersections of technology misuse and intimate partner violence.

Here are some of the highlights from this year’s spectacular summit!

1.   “Technology isn’t the problem, abuse is!”- Our very own Erica Olsen, Director of the Safety Net project, opened the week with foundational principles. She centered the training with reminding participants that we need to hold perpetrators accountable, while also allowing for survivors to choose what is the best option for them during their tech safety planning process.

2.   “Technology is often misused, but technology can also empower survivors” - Malika Saada Saar, Google - Our 2018 tech summit speakers and presenters left us feeling empowered and energized to continue this work. We had representatives from Uber, Facebook, Google, law enforcement, and many other phenomenal presenters who not only shared their knowledge and expertise, but their own stories and ways they  work to end gender-based violence. We couldn’t have done this without them.

3.   “Technology can be used to reach those at the margins and provide them with a safe space”- This year we had sessions that really spoke to the intersections in which many survivors live. We offered sessions on technology and accessibility, working with immigrant survivors, and the impact of technology on LGBTQ survivors. These sessions were an added bonus to our agenda and provided new and innovative approaches for advocates to do this work. Likewise, we held our 3rd annual Women in Technology reception where technologists and advocates came together to discuss emerging tech and the use of technology in communities of color.

4.    “Lots of work, but lots of fun”- #TechSummit18 wasn’t just all work, we were able to have fun with our participants. From live polling, tech themed coloring pages, our daily prize drawings, and of course karaoke and trivia, this year we engaged with participants in ways we haven’t in the past. We were able to enjoy each other and really provide connections that will foster new friendships and networking relationships.

We thank all of the participants, speakers, sponsors, and you for making Tech Summit 2018 a huge success. Until July 2019.

Facebook’s Proactive Approach to Addressing Nonconsensual Distribution of Intimate Images

It’s well-known that technology has made sharing sexually intimate content easier. While many people share intimate images without any problems, there’s a growing issue with non-consensual distribution of intimate images (NCII[1]), or what is often referred to as “revenge porn.” Perpetrators often share - or threaten to share - intimate images in an effort to control, intimidate, coerce, shame, or humiliate others. A survivor threatened by or already victimized by someone who’s shared their intimate images not only deserves the opportunity to hold their perpetrator accountable, but also should have better options for removing content or keeping it from being posted in the first place.

Recently, Facebook announced a new pilot project aimed at stopping NCII before it can be uploaded onto their platforms. This process gives people who wish to participate the option to submit intimate images or videos they’re concerned someone will share without their permission to a small, select group of specially trained professionals within Facebook. Once submitted, the images are given what’s called a “hash value”, and the actual images are deleted. “Hashing” basically means that the images are turned into a digital code that is a unique identifier, similar to a fingerprint. Once the image has been hashed, Facebook deletes it, and all that’s left is the code. That code is then used as a way for Facebook to identify if someone is attempting to upload the image and prevent it from being posted on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram.

Facebook’s new pilot project may not be something everyone feels comfortable using, but for some it may bring much peace of mind. For those who believe it may help in their situation, we’ve outlined detailed information about how the process works:

  1. Victims work with a trusted partner. Individuals who believe they’re at risk of NCII and wish to have their images hashed should first contact one of Facebook’s trusted partners: the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, YWCA Canada, UK Revenge Porn Hotline, and the eSafety Commissioner in Australia. These partners will help them through the process and identify other assistance that may be useful to them.
  2. Partner organizations help ensure appropriate use. The partner organization will carefully discuss the individual’s situation with them before helping them start the hashing process. This helps ensure that individuals are seeking to protect their own image and not trying to misuse the feature against another person. It’s important to note that the feature is meant for adults and not for images of people under 18. If the images are of someone under 18, they will be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Partner organizations will help to explain the reporting process so that individuals can make appropriate decisions for their own case.
  3. The Image will be reviewed by trained staff at Facebook. If the images meet Facebook’s definitions of NCII, a one-time link is sent to the individual’s e-mail. The link will take the individual to a portal where they can directly upload the images. All submissions are then added to a secure review queue where they will be reviewed by a small team specifically trained in reviewing content related to NCII abuse.
  4. NCII will be hashed and deleted: All images that are reviewed and found to meet Facebook’s definition of NCII will be translated into a set of numerical values to create a code called a “hash.” The actual image will then be deleted. If an image is reviewed and Facebook determines it does not match their definition of NCII, the individual will receive an email letting them know (so it’s critical that someone use an email that cannot be accessed by someone else). If the content submitted does not meet Facebook’s definition of NCII, then the concerned individual may still have other options. For example, they may be able to report an image for a violation of Facebook’s Community Standards.
  5. Hashed images will be blocked: If someone tries to upload a copy of the original image that was hashed, Facebook will block the upload and provide a pop-up message notifying the person that their attempted upload violates Facebook’s policies.

This proactive approach has been requested by many victims, and may be appropriate on a case-by-case basis. People who believe they’re at risk of exposure and are considering this process as an option should carefully discuss their situation with one of Facebook’s partner organizations. This will help them make sure they’re fully informed about the process so that they can feel empowered to decide if this is something that’s appropriate for their unique circumstances.  

For more information about how survivors can increase their privacy and safety on Facebook, check out our Facebook Privacy & Safety Guide for Survivors of Abuse.


 

[1] NCII refers to private, sexual content that a perpetrator shares publicly or sends to other individuals without the consent of the victim. How we discuss an issue is essential to resolving it. The term “revenge porn” is misleading, because it suggests that a person shared the intimate images as a reaction to a victim’s behavior.