Online talk on “Usability and privacy issues in government-issued Covid-19 apps in India”

Poster of Rohini's talk on Covid-19

Rohini Lakshané delivered a talk on “Usability and privacy issues in government-issued Covid-19 apps in India” on June 22, 2020. The talk was organised by Thus Critique and Hasgeek and moderated by Nishthaa Manchanda.

Event details: https://hasgeek.com/thus/usability-and-privacy-issues-in-government-issued-covid-19-apps-in-india2/#about

Video recording of the talk: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1mrxmEVawgZxy (Periscope)

About the talk: A slew of mobile apps were released by different government bodies in India as a response to the Covid-19 outbreak. State and Union Territory (UT) governments released apps for the purposes of quarantine management, ensuring compliance to quarantine rules, providing healthcare information and updates, and so on. Public health being a subject on the State List, the federal governments were the first to respond to the outbreak with technical interventions, much before the Aarogya Setu app was released. While Aarogya Setu has received much attention, the apps issued by state and UT governments in India have posed their own technical, privacy and usability issues. In this talk, Rohini Lakshané will speak about her findings from a preliminary analysis of approximately twenty government-issued Covid-19 apps from the perspective of privacy and usability of the end-user and will take the audience through a brief timeline of their deployment and subsequent events.

Suggested reading: Tracking quarantine, tracing cases, sharing info: Can these govt-issued apps help fight Covid-19

Spreadsheet with information about 50 government-issued Covid-19 apps in India: https://bit.ly/2BB3R32

The talk was also streamed live on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

An article on the talk was published in Herald Goa: https://bit.ly/389Z3Oj

“Public Safety Tech, Women’s Agency, and Privacy”: Session at GDDF 20

A breakout session entitled “No Woman, No Panic: Public Safety Tech, Women’s Agency, and Privacy” was held at the Global Digital Development Forum (GDDF), a virtual conference held on May 6, 2020. The speakers were Rohini Lakshané (The Bachchao Project), Chinmayi S K (The Bachchao Project) and Kate Sim (PhD Researcher, Oxford Internet Institute). The session was moderated by Dr Becky Faith, Research Fellow & Digital Cluster Lead, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK.

The session elucidated on the efficacy, evaluation, and audit of technological interventions such as mobile apps and panic buttons for public safety and their impact on women’s agency and privacy.

GDDF Agenda: https://digitaldevforum.com/agenda

Video of the session: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgJGLJMCwfo

The Bachchao Project and the Centre for Internet and Society had jointly conducted a preliminary study in late 2016 on “Evaluating Safety Buttons on Mobile Devices“.

“Holistic security strategies to address non-consensual intimate images”: Session at GDDF 20

Rohini Lakshané moderated a breakout session entitled “Holistic security strategies to address non-consensual intimate images” at the Global Digital Development Forum (GDDF), a virtual conference held on May 6, 2020. The speakers at this session were Peace Oliver Amuge, Sandra Aceng and Patricia Nyasuna of the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET).

This session elucidated on some of the recommended strategies and measures for holistic security (digital, physical, and psychosocial) that women and no-binary persons may adopt in order to recognise and prevent incidents of non-consensual intimate images (NCII), commonly known by the misnomer “revenge porn”.

GDDF Agenda: https://digitaldevforum.com/agenda

An article based on the talks made in the session was authored by the speakers and moderator: Holistic security strategies and measures to address non-consensual intimate images (NCII)

Slide deck:
Slides_Holistic_security_strategies_to_address_non-consensual_intimate_images_GDDF_2020

“Anatomy of Internet shutdowns”: Panel discussion at Nullcon 2020

Prateek Waghre, Research Analyst, The Takshashila Institution was a speaker in a panel discussion at Nullcon on March 8, 2020 about a study carried out jointly with Rohini Lakshané of The Bachchao Project. In the discussion entitled “Anatomy of Internet Shutdowns”, Waghre spoke about the study on usability testing of the whitelist issued for Internet access in Jammu and Kashmir.

Details about the study may be accessed here: http://thebachchaoproject.org/even-the-301-whitelisted-sites-in-jammu-and-kashmir-are-not-entirely-accessible-an-analysis

Details about the session here: https://nullcon.net/website/media-track.php. Nullcon is an annual conference held in India on the topic of cybersecurity.

Submissions citing analysis of whitelist for Internet access in Jammu and Kashmir

 

 

Call for volunteers: The Glass Room Exhibition, Bengaluru, 22 to 24 November 2019

The Bachchao Project invites volunteers for The Glass Room exhibition scheduled to be held in Bengaluru from November 22 to 24, 2019 at UB City. The Glass Room is a global pop-up exhibition that is generating a conversation about data and privacy. This will be the first-ever edition of the exhibition to be held in India.

Tasks for volunteers

  • Interact with visitors
  • Talk about the exhibits assigned to them, and answer questions that visitors may have
  • Distribute handouts to visitors who are interested
  • Collect feedback from visitors

Who can volunteer?

Individuals who:

  • Speak English.
  • Live in Bengaluru.
  • Are available for at least four hours at a stretch during the three-day exhibition.
  • Are available to attend a briefing session on the evening of November 21.
  • Have at least a basic knowledge and understanding of common Internet technology and its interplay with privacy (preferable).

All volunteers will receive a daily allowance for covering expenses towards meals and conveyance to and from the exhibition venue.

How do I sign up?

Email theteam@thebachchaoproject.org with this information:

  • Your name
  • Dates when you’re available to volunteer
  • Approximate number of hours you wish to dedicate
  • Why are you interested in volunteering for this event?
  • Do you have previous experience of working on the topic of digital privacy and security, in a professional or volunteer capacity?

(For media inquiries, contact Rohini Lakshané: rohini@thebachchaoproject.org)

More about The Glass Room

The Glass Room is a public intervention that provides an interactive, fun, and challenging experience, bringing to life the most pressing challenges facing people and the tech industry today. As technology reaches a global scale and becomes embedded in every part of our lives and our environments, The Glass Room examines its impacts and helps visitors explore practical solutions to mitigate them. The consequences of a “move fast and break things” industry are catching up with us and now we must examine what has been lost and gained along the way. (Text from: https://theglassroom.org/about-us)

The Glass Room is curated by Tactical Tech, an international NGO based in Berlin.

About The Bachchao Project

The Bachchao Project is a techno-feminist collective that undertakes community-centric efforts to develop and support open source technologies and technical frameworks with the goals of mitigating gender-based violence and working towards equal rights for women, LGBTQIA people, and gender non-conforming groups. We conduct research and advocacy in all the above areas and guide communities in determining appropriate technological interventions for themselves. http://thebachchaoproject.org

Twitter: @bachchaoproject

Venue

UB City mall, Vittal Mallya Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru 560001. The exhibition is a part of the art gallery event Art Bengaluru 2019.

[Event announcement] The Glass Room Exhibition, Bengaluru, 22 to 24 November 2019

First-ever edition of The Glass Room Exhibition in India to be held in Bengaluru

3 November 2019, Bengaluru, India

The first-ever edition of the global pop-up exhibition “The Glass Room” to be held in India has been organised by The Bachchao Project in Bengaluru from 22 to 24 November, 2019. The exhibition is a part of the art gallery event Art Bengaluru 2019. Entry is free and open to the public.

The Glass Room is a public intervention that provides an interactive, fun, and challenging experience, bringing to life the most pressing challenges facing people and the tech industry today. As technology reaches a global scale and becomes embedded in every part of our lives and our environments, The Glass Room examines its impacts and helps visitors explore practical solutions to mitigate them. The consequences of a “move fast and break things” industry are catching up with us and now we must examine what has been lost and gained along the way.

The Glass Room is curated by Tactical Tech, an international NGO based in Berlin. More at: https://theglassroom.org

The three-day exhibition invites volunteers: http://thebachchaoproject.org/call-for-volunteers-the-glass-room-exhibition-bengaluru-22-to-24-november-2019

About The Bachchao Project

The Bachchao Project is a techno-feminist collective that undertakes community-centric efforts to develop and support open source technologies and technical frameworks with the goals of mitigating gender-based violence and working towards equal rights for women, LGBTQIA people, and gender non-conforming groups. We conduct research and advocacy in all the above areas and guide communities in determining appropriate technological interventions for themselves.
Website: http://thebachchaoproject.org
Twitter:  @bachchaoproject

Contact

For media inquiries, Rohini Lakshané: rohini@thebachchaoproject.org. For everything else, email Chinmayi S K: chinmayi@thebachchaoproject.org

Venue

UB City mall, Vittal Mallya Road, Ashok Nagar, Bengaluru 560001
2nd floor, Near lift lobby

Hours

11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on all days. Last entry: 8.30 p.m. on all days

[Profile] 31 Fantastic adventures in science – Women scientists of India

Rohini Lakshané, Director (Emerging Research) at The Bachchao Project has been featured in a book entitled “31 Fantastic adventures in science – Women scientists of India” authored by Nandita Jayaraj and Aashima Friedog. The book was released in August 2019.

Front cover of the book "31 Fantastic adventures in science"

From the cover:

We don’t see them on TV, in textbooks or in newspapers, and most of us can’t name a single one. But there are thousands of women scientists in India, who perform experiments in laboratories, peer through powerful telescopes and camp out in harsh and extreme conditions.

This unique book presents the stories of thirty-one of these trailblazing women who work in a diverse array of fields, from environmental biotechnology to particle physics, palaeobiology to astrophysics. Through their research, they uncover the mysteries of the universe, find more sustainable ways of living, cure life-threatening diseases and study animals and plants that are long gone.

Find out what drew them to science, read about how they deal with the difficulties and pressures of their work, and learn how they push the boundaries of human knowledge further and further every day.

Listing on Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/31-Fantastic-Adventures-Science-Scientists/dp/0143445685

The Bachchao Project at Rightscon 2019

Members of The Bachchao Project spoke at two sessions at RightsCon held in Tunis, Tunisia from June 11 to 14, 2019.