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How the Internet of Things (IoT) can prevent domestic abuse

Like several other technologies, IoT can become a weapon in the hands of domestic abusers.

However, the technology can be helpful for abuse victims to get help too. Governments and law enforcement agencies must ensure that the use of IoT for smart cities and smart homes is exclusively for user convenience and not for making abuse easier for perpetrators.

Domestic violence is depressingly common in today’s times, with about one in three women and one in nine men reportedly subjected to behind-closed-doors brutality at the hands of their intimate partners at least once in their lives. You would expect that the emergence of IoT for smart cities and smart home applications would reduce such episodes of domestic violence, but, instead, another trend seems to be emerging. Like a dystopian nightmare, the increasing use of IoT for smart cities is, in many cases, making it easier for abusers to wreak physical and mental havoc on their helpless victims in smart homes. Abusers can use security cameras and other imaging devices to monitor their victims at all times. Additionally, domestic abusers can remotely regulate smart home air-conditioners, smart locks, lighting and IoT sauna systems to compound their partners’ misery even when they’ve been removed from the house. As a technology, IoT gets a bad rap due to these types of domestic abuse incidents.

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