Transgender people are marginalized, facing specific privacy concerns and high risk of online and offline harassment, discrimination, and violence. They are also known to use technology more than other groups for critical purposes such as finding accepting friends and community (which may be absent in their real lives) and gathering information on topics such as health and sexuality. In this talk, I'll discuss our recent research studying American transgender people's computer security and privacy experiences. While our questions were broadly construed, participants frequently returned to themes of activism and prosocial behavior, such as protest organization, political speech, and role-modeling transgender identities, so we focused our analysis on these themes. I'll discuss models of risk that participants described influencing many of their security and privacy decisions, and the ways that these risk perceptions may heavily influence transgender people’s defensive behaviors and self-efficacy, jeopardizing their ability to defend themselves or gain technology’s benefits. I'll then discuss currently underway NSF-funded follow-on research aiming to quantify the prevalence of these trends at a population level, discover which of these trends apply also to other marginalized groups, and design new technology that can support the needs of transgender people and other groups in light of these findings.
Note the changed time.
Ada Lerner (pronouns: she/her or they/them) is a computer scientist who focuses their research on the area of Inclusive Security and Privacy, which they define as the study of the security and privacy needs of groups which are marginalized (such as queer and trans folks) or which are critical to the functioning of our free society (such as lawyers, journalists, and activists). Their work incorporates web and network measurements, qualitative methods, and quantitative methods with interdisciplinary perspectives from psychology, feminist and queer theory, and the law. They live in Boston and have a dog named Matrix, who knows the command "transpose".