In this talk, I will present our recent work with migrant domestic workers (MDWs). The needs of marginalised groups like MDWs are often ignored in digital privacy and security research. If considered, MDWs are treated as `bystanders’ or even as threats rather than as targets of surveillance and legitimate security subjects in their own right. Using participatory threat modelling (PTM) as a method of incorporating marginalised populations’ experiences, we designed and conducted five workshops with MDWs (n=32) in the UK to identify threats to their privacy and security. We found that MDWs named government surveillance, scams and harassment, and employer monitoring (in this order) as the primary threats to their privacy and security. We also examined the methods MDWs used to stay safe online, such as configuring the privacy settings of their online accounts and creating on- and offline community support networks. Based on our findings, we developed and disseminated a digital privacy and security guide with links to further resources that MDWs can refer to. We conclude by arguing that security research must consider broader social structures like gendered work and racialised border policy that foster insecurity in the lives of MDWs. We also present the key lessons of our work, including considering data sharing from the perspective of stakeholders who do not own technology devices but are affected by them, and reflecting on how security research can stop enabling harmful forms of surveillance.
Ruba Abu-Salma is a Lecturer in Computer Science at King’s College London (KCL). Ruba is affiliated with the Cybersecurity Group and the Human Centered Computing Group in the Department of Informatics. Her research is interdisciplinary. She works at the intersection of cybersecurity, privacy, human-computer interaction (HCI), and public policy. She aims to understand and improve people’s security, privacy, and safety decision-making processes, with a focus on vulnerable and/or marginalized populations. Her work has been published at top-tier venues, including IEEE S&P (Oakland), USENIX Security, and ACM CHI. Before joining KCL in 2021, she was a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Usable Security and Privacy Group at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the PRIVATICS Team at INRIA Sophia Antipolis. Ruba earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from University College London (UCL) in 2020. Her dissertation focused on designing user-centered privacy-enhancing technologies.