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Privacy Conference Aims to Prevent Stalking

While most of us seek Internet privacy for simple peace of mind, for some people it can be a matter of protecting themselves from serious harm. The Safety Net Project announced Friday that it would host a three-day conference in New Orleans to address the privacy issues confronting victims of domestic abuse on the Internet.

According to the Project’s release, technology can be helpful to women in abusive relations for finding support and information, but it can also leave electronic clues for estranged lovers to follow. The conference, entitled, “The Use of Technology in Intimate Partner Stalking” teaches local hotline operators, police, prosecutors and shelter managers how to instruct survivors on the discrete and effective use of technology.

Conference presenters will include simple advice, such as keeping survivors’ addresses and photos off the Internet, as well as more complex instructions for shelters to increase the security of their confidential databases.

They will provide information on how to help women still trapped in abusive situations to find information discretely. "We advise women who are being abused to use safer computers such as those found in a public library, Internet cafe or a trusted friend’s house," said Sue Else, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence Fund, in a statement. "With a better understanding of the internet and other technologies, women can more effectively research restraining orders and address-confidentiality programs, locate safe housing and find employment opportunities.”

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