Gender and Internet : Web magazine for Cyber law for women News update for October 20th-31st, 2019

WhatsApp sues Israeli firm accusing of hacking phones of activists. Several women, who were already victims of online violence including rape threats, online misogyny etc, are also affected
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/oct/29/whatsapp-sues-israeli-firm-accusing-it-of-hacking-activists-phones

Katie Hill, the U.S. Representative becomes victim of online exploitation and non consensual porn. Hill’s private images with a staffer get leaked infringing her privacy.
https://news.yahoo.com/kamala-harris-defended-representative-katie-143000147.html

Fake dating site which was victimizing men, was found to be engaging women for alluring men for the site. These women were promised high financial rewards if they could allure men and trick them into depositing money to meet women as proposed through fake profiles.
https://www.yovizag.com/vizag-cybercrime-police-fake-dating-website-case/

Woman crew brings law suits against two US pilots for allegedly committed voyeurism in 2017 by placing hidden camera in the lavatory of the flight. The images were streamed in the cockpit
https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/southwest-airlines-pilots-allegedly-hid-camera-in-toilet-then-streamed-video-to-the-cockpit-2123450?fbclid=IwAR2JU5Y50YIxsCJ8ok4cIUR9ZK6K2631nDHkQgApluUQO3OmYoS63trdcCI

Australian law makers follow UK to use Facial Recognition tool to prevent children from accessing porn contents.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/10/australia-wants-to-use-face-recognition-for-porn-age-verification/?fbclid=IwAR0vXJk_4h3k8a3E01jJ8repCwM0Gd_HaSkvw-8ogHAV0JAg2bIxqMuXCsY

Porn Hub, one of world’s biggest porn sites is being flooded by voyeur, non consensual porn images of women and girls that are captured using hidden cameras. Site users are using keywords such ‘hidden camera’ to access more voyeur and non consensual porn contents
https://jezebel.com/hidden-camera-clips-popped-up-on-pornhub-and-the-proble-1839414523?utm_medium=sharefromsite&fbclid=IwAR1lGgFZDmginVuP9jIwxWOp4RR8NHp_pmKqiCSuX-wUsOPdrwCuSEskuII

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YouTube, YouTubers and violation of privacy of women and children: The drama unfolds by Dr.Debarati Halder

picture credit : Internet

In recent years YouTube has won millions of hearts in India as a social media platform especially among women. This is because unlike other social media websites, YouTube has provided a platform to earn money based upon views and subscribers. Contents uploaded by users may be varied: it can be home decor, power point presentations of simplified versions of undergraduate subjects, subject lectures by professional teachers or amateur subject experts, cooking recipes, Do It Yourself (DIYs), home organisations, daily routines of home makers, technological solutions, how to do stuffs etc . Several women have used YouTube to earn money generated through the revenue that YouTube promises once the user can reach some criteria like getting 1000 subscribers or 4000 watch hours etc. [1] YouTube however would not lead the user to create contents that may earn more watch hours or subscribers. Users may go for market survey to understand which sorts of videos may attract more views, ,more subscribers etc. mostly new users including men and women may try to create videos on anything that they feel proper to share to the world. YouGTube , like Facebook and Instagram has features for allowing users to create videos for private sharing. This enables the users to share the video which may be watched only by those whom the creator chooses. The users may however go for wide circulation of their contents by not only making the videos public, but also by going live  whereby the users may directly communicate with their subscribers or may share information while live.  Even though going Live may be a feature specifically for improving the relationship between the user and his/her subscribers, live videos can be watched by the world wide audience even if they are not subscribers to that particular user.   Here, YouTube may not play a vital role to restrict uploading and sharing the contents unless the subscribers or  viewers may flag the content as inappropriate.  In short, YouTube may actually provide a wide platform to share anything including bullying videos, mashed up videos, child and woman abuse videos, birthing videos, adult sexual interaction videos and so on. While the adult sexual videos and birthing videos may not be universally accessible unless the user logs in to his/her YouTube accounts, other sorts of videos are accessible to all irrespective of age. YouTube however uses the due diligence clause to escape from any third party liability by providing notification which restricts children from viewing adult sexual contents or violent contents which may traumatise children. Hardly this  has any practical implication because children may access these videos by using email ids which may be created on the basis of fake age , or may even log in through their parents’ or friends’ email /YouTube ids.

My attention here is however attracted to the contents shared by YouTubers: I have been an avid watcher of YouTube since many years now. I have been following the changing trends of users in uploading the contents. Earlier it was more on creating mashed up videos which may have the potentials of violating the copyrights. Such videos have also been silently encouraged by actors, singers and producers because these actually publicise their work even though it may violate the laws. [2] But slowly, the content creators, especially women started becoming reviewers of products on YouTube as well. This included using of cosmetics, kitchen wares organisers etc that may be shown in the daily routine videos, home organisation videos or make up tutorials.[3]   Users not only get views and subscribers as may be needed for fulfilling the YouTube monetising criteria, they may also be connected with the brands manufacturing the products or dealers of the products who may wish to showcase their products through these non-professional videos. Several urban and rural women home makers have actually benefitted from this: consider Youtubers like Radhika Real Vlogs,[4] or simplelivingwithringlejain[5] who may be rural homemakers, but may have made a moderate to comfortable living because of their YouTube videos advertising about different brands including retailer brands.  Nonetheless, these YouTubers may also be victims of bullying and trolling for the quality of their videos, their pronunciation, lifestyle and even house decorations.

While these women may have made a landmark professional/personal achievement because of YouTube, they may unknowingly violate privacy of their own children or even spouses or other family members as they may be showing and informing the worldwide audience about their family members who may not may consent for such wide distribution of images of themselves. These YouTube videos may also be the subject matter of bullying and ridiculing the children of such YouTubers since these may stay on worldwide web for long time. YouTube videos may also create severe domestic violence for several reasons which include live fights between spouses which may be captured by third party YouTubers for fun and uploaded and circulated for getting more views; or airing of grievances by women YouTubers against the other spouses, without knowing the far-reaching consequences etc. These videos may attract huge views and opinions, comments in the nature of cyber bullying and also trolling targeting the YouTuber concerned or supporters of the same. Consider the case of two specific youtubers from Delhi, who are spouses in real life : the wife is a senior YouTuber whereas the husband is a recent Youtuber: They had severe altercations and started living apart. But this was not enough: both used YouTube to throw insults and humiliating words to each other and their teen daughter was allegedly dragged in between. The recent reports suggested that the teenager girl who  was staying with her father for couple of months after the separation, was beaten by the latter while on live and her t-shirt was torn in a manner which would show her inner wares.[6] The girl was beaten because she wanted to visit her mother. This video became viral as several supporters of the wife started showing the clippings through their own channels. Some had also informed ChildLine and the police who had rescued the teenager and sent her to her maternal grandmother.[7]  There are several other YouTubers who started discussing about incident using the profile name of the husband wife duo.[8] While the news report published in the local news media suggested that the teenager was often beaten by both the parents when they were drunk and she was forced to come on live which she refused many times, the news clipping did not mention about the name of the girl and that of her parents as S.74 of the Juvenile Justice Care and protection Act, 2015 prohibits publication of the identity of the child in need of care and protection or child in conflict with law. The provision reads as below:

S.74. Prohibition of publication of name, etc., of juvenile in conflict with law or child in need of care and protection involved in any proceeding under the Act.-1. No report in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or visual media of any inquiry regarding a juvenile in conflict with law or a child in need of care and protection under this Act shall disclose the name, address or school or any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile or child nor shall any picture of any such juvenile or child be published: Provided that for reasons to be recorded in writing, the authority holding the inquiry may permit such disclosure, if in its opinion such disclosure is in the interest of the juvenile or the child. 2. Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1), shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to twenty-five thousand rupees.

Now, let us understand the scope of this provision in the light of this particular case: the first subsection prohibits any report including news report, inquiry etc from disclosing the name, information etc of the concerned child. The second proviso extends the scope to ‘anyone’ who may contravene the prohibitory scope of S.74. Seen from the perspective of electronic media and the concept of citizen journalism, which gives every one right to share information, the term ‘anyone’ may literally include anyone including the good Samaritans who may have wanted to alert the concerned authorities, share their opinion against such acts of women and child abuse. Further, note the words “any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile or child nor shall any picture of any such juvenile or child be published” mentioned in the first sub clause. This may include the name of the concerned child and names of the parents. But apparently, this provision became a just a paper tiger in this case because those who had watched or subscribed to the videos of the couple had already known about the identity of the teenager because of the daily Lives put up by the parents and discussion about the girl in the videos posted by them. If one visits the comment section of the recent videos of both the parents in the recent past, it would be seen that commenters have taken the name of the girl, asked about her whereabouts and in some cases, some had also suggested about her changed behaviour after she had stayed with her respective parents separately. Nothing is confidential for those thousands of worldwide audiences now who had watched the parents daily and who had also witnessed the Live video where the girl was beaten up by the father.  In spite of repeated request by the mother of the girl, several YouTubers still did not take down videos mentioning about the name of the father (which broadly falls within the meaning of “any other particulars calculated to lead to the identification of the juvenile or child”) when this writeup was published. While the Juvenile Justice Care and Protection and Act provides a base rule, the concerned YouTubers may not be held solely responsible because the parents already violated the privacy of the teenager and encouraged thousands to watch the couple fight which had every potential to attract penal provisions for using words etc for harming the modesty of the wife under S.509 Indian Penal Code as well as defamation of both the wife and the husband under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code. YouTube on the other hand has not taken down the videos of either of the spouses or that of the other YouTubers  which may showcase the names of the parents and the child because it is guided by First Amendment of the US which may hardly be affected unless YouTube has been approached to take the videos down by concerned stakeholders.  

It is now a typical love triangle of three parties : YouTube, which is loved by all for providing such an open platform for airing opinions and consumption of real life family dramas, the YouTubers who may expect to get support, views, popularity and money because of participating in the trolling and independent discussions on such issues which may rip open privacy of general individuals including children and criminal justice machinery, most of whom may never know how to manage legalities of YouTube videos because they are completely ignorant of this new type of electronic media.  

But this is not a unique incident that attracts the attention of legal researchers, especially privacy law and speech law researchers. YouTubers, especially women YouTubers continue to violate privacy knowingly or unknowingly and provide more opportunity to trolls, bullies and offline perpetrators to victimise them because they may not be aware about the netiquettes of YouTube. Time has come that YouTube users become cautious of the contents uploaded by them and legalities attached with such uploading and sharing. In this festive season YouTube content uploading and sharing may have seen a steep rise. But it is upon YouTubers to control what must be shared and may not.

YouTube is more powerful than televisions, more demanded than movies and more devastating than what is generally apprehended.

Please note: Do not violate copyright of this blog. If you would like to use information provided in this blog for your own assignment/writeup/project/blog/article. This was first published in https://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/2019/10/youtube-youtubers-and-violation-of.html Please cite it as “Halder D. (2019), ” YouTube, YouTubers and violation of privacy of women and children: The drama unfolds” Published in https://debaraticyberspace.blogspot.com/2019/10/youtube-youtubers-and-violation-of.htm on 28-10-2019, reshared @https://internetlegalstudies.com/2019/10/28/youtube-youtubers-and-violation-of-privacy-of-women-and-children-the-drama-unfolds-by-dr-debarati-halder/


[1] For  more, see https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/72851

[2] For example see Halder D., & Jaishankar K. (2016) Celebrities and Cyber Crimes: An Analysis of the Victimization of Female Film Stars on the Internet. Temida – The journal on victimization, human rights and gender. 19(3-4), 355-372

[3] For example see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52c7V2yeRlo  , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYdX1uZe1FM  , https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yuvcKc30ss https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdA6BZJvaEU etc.

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkcMmd-b1-Y

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Po5tE2qKxM

[6] See for better understanding of the case in https://www.amarujala.com/delhi-ncr/faridabad/drunk-parents-beat-student-faridabad-news-noi468791969

[7] See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNG3lousHu4&t=167s where the Youtuber had informed that she called the police to report the video and provided the link of the media report of the incident.

[8] For example, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWS8FAa-MC4&t=48s . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdrSLYGOTpE&t=14s

Gender and Internet : Web magazine for Cyber law for women News update for October 1st-19th, 2019

22 women allegedly tricked to perform in internet pornography as they were allured by porn producers by advertisement for modeling. The porn producers in San Diego are charged with sex trafficking.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/11/us/porn-sex-trafficking.html?fbclid=IwAR0b4rgIEbFSa5hneBxaN1R1QH7UJ7UL5aPzLFNQvW4oj-rI4dq8dADkNUE

Former assistant head teacher from Kingston sends indecent photographs and videos of himself to a police officer who was posing as a 13 year old girl, asking “her” to reply with indecent images. The former teacher is pleaded guilty for distributing sexually explicit pictures to children, trying to incite girl between the age group of 13-15 and having sexually explicit images of children stored in his computer. He is presently subjected to 10 year sexual harm prevention order.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/daniel-butterfield-teacher-child-grooming-pictures-kingston-a9159176.html?fbclid=IwAR1EFwWj-ybaIaN3Yzle-hcWQgHEvmBHP5InVy_z2h7_cWRiv3-YPQQukiI

Japanese man stalks, assaults female pop singer in Japan by tracking her social media posts including photos of her eye direction, curtains etc.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/10/stalker_japan_eyes/?fbclid=IwAR0rmJmmddSP70f4VSWqJxHb67Xi1tquM8XO3ZXPC_JQfJwV95F3NuqTOPQ

Man puts GPS device in the car of his girlfriend for stalking including cyber stalking in the US. investigation leads to bigger crimes including racketeering, loansharking and cyber stalking by him.
https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/04/gps_cyberstalking_indictment/?fbclid=IwAR0MXOpUA4b6NVlVwJNz-yRvEjjY8K4T5IzVk_DCXLbUZr0iNq6vmUNMJMo

Pakistan man convicted for creating and sharing revenge porn of his ex- fiance. Sentenced for 8 years of imprisonment and payment of damages of Rs. 50,000/- under the Pakistan prevention of electronic crimes Act, 2016
https://www.geo.tv/latest/250929-court-sentences-man-to-eight-years-for-sharing-revenge-porn-photos-of-ex-fianc%C3%A9e-online

Ghana police arrests man who had secretly taken bathing pictures of five women and posted them on three different websites. The community supports the victims and the accused is thrashed by mob before police rescued and arrested him
https://www.peacefmonline.com/pages/local/news/201910/393179.php

Gender and Internet : Web magazine for Cyber law for women News update for September 25-30, 2019

Woman MP stresses on privacy and tracability of criminals on cyber space especially in regard to social media : Court in India emphasizes more on privacy rights
https://www.livelaw.in/news-updates/mp-mahua-moitra-intervenes-in-whatsapp-traceability-case-in-madras-hc-148662

Accused persons still play dominance over the victim even after filing FIR regarding online harassment. Woman takes it to National Commission for Women. Complains about poor execution of laws
https://www.opindia.com/2019/09/girl-complains-about-online-sexual-harassment-by-a-group-of-men-ncw-steps-in-to-help/

Porn sites are back in India despite the ban on porn channels by Department of Telecommunications. Cyber law experts show concern over cyber security.
https://www.nationalheraldindia.com/india/despite-ban-porn-sites-back-by-tweaking-their-portal-names

Revenge Porn victims share unending victimization saga as laws fail to stop surfacing of revenge porn materials on the world wide web after years.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/sep/22/theres-no-end-and-no-escape-you-feel-so-so-exposed-life-as-a-victim-of-revenge-porn?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other&fbclid=IwAR3H_g_broU68-WR-r6iBAII7g__FBaWIVcbgdmxafpeGgS1ffW8Dpj1Iok

Gender and Internet: Web magazine for Cyber law for women News update for September 16-24, 2019

Man in Derbyshire uploads distributes breast pictures of his neighbor who borrowed the computer to upload the pictures for medical purposes. while returning the computer, she forgot to delete them.Accused shared the pictures because he was allegedly irritated by the victim. The court convicted the accused of revenge porn. Held that the pictures were not captured by the accused for sexual purposes, but were distributed for taking revenge. The court, which took note of the victim’s distress condition, ordered the accused is ordered two months prison sentence, 80 hours of unpaid work and restraining order prohibiting him to connect with the victim.
https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/derby-news/derby-man-sent-revenge-porn-3280054

Pornhub owner earns money from the revenue generated through advertisements, rejects the claim that they allow revenge porn contents on their websites. But the reality is different. Victims state even police can not help in preventing uploading of revenge porn in such websites and detecting the perpetrators. Website liability is questioned.
https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-49583420

India raises alert over need for a new legislation to combat cyber crimes against women as several women , including nuns are defamed via social media.
https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/cybercrime-womens-panel-calls-for-stricter-punishment/article29434022.ece

Nigerian man arrested in India for duping women, through impostering profiles of wealthy people
https://www.ndtv.com/delhi-news/nigerian-man-in-delhi-posed-as-wealthy-foreigner-cheated-women-jailed-2103379

Gender and Internet: Web magazine for Cyber law for women News update for September 9-15, 2019

Husband uploads non consensual photos of estranged wife on social media profiles through an impersonating profile to defame her in India. They were allegedly married for 12 years and got separated recently. Suspect is yet to be arrested.
https://www.hindustantimes.com/gurugram/man-booked-for-uploading-wife-s-pictures-online/story-mlWcXbHR2adXiO1qj2przO.html

Florida teenager girl violates child porn laws by sexting to friends
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/31/maryland-court-teen-girl-video-law?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR3GHIQF3rSaJQkY7W5Kd-yW-im7MzRO35uJvaVSij8NoeyVK5svZQDfCRw

Public profiles of women and men uploaded on LinkedIn may not expect privacy cocoons from web scrappers. US court rules that web scrapping of LinkedIn without the consent of the owner of the website would be violate laws.
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/09/web-scraping-doesnt-violate-anti-hacking-law-appeals-court-rules/?fbclid=IwAR0JTHWCJRZSmQgDxDQzziRUPyxOnC_O4IVZO6pXqEK67BnUFShnHZSunbQ

Stakeholders in UK express concern over surveillance used by law less Facial recognition technology which may violate privacy rights of women and men
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/facial-recognition-technology-police-general-election-a9111026.html?fbclid=IwAR3s-_jUKlTEAoashuxWxlGNcQOXStLs2U9BTbECrqjQ-dO42sOKmg8x4k0

Trolling and Online violence against women by Dhananjay Bhati

Image courtesy : Google

Online trolling is one of the most prominent types of cyber victimization of women in the present age and it is least taken care of by criminal justice machinery. It is indeed the most prevalent form of abuse against women and it’s an alarming human rights issue. Online abuse of women may include various forms including bullying, trolling, stalking, misogynist comments, racial bullying etc. Trolling have heavy potential of damaging honor or reputation of women. Trolling can be defined as ‘an extreme usage of freedom of speech which is exercised to disrupt the community discussions in social networking sites and which is done to deliberately insult ideologies such as feminism, secularism etc.; of the topic starter or the supporters of the topic starter.’[1] In this digital era, most people consider internet as a podium which provides them the anonymity to victimize others. As a result, the potential perpetrator including the troll is often encouraged to create more havoc with the victim’s life and freedom. Unfortunately, the internet has always been a hostile place for women. Trolling including misogynistic trolling is one of the worst forms speech which has often escaped the clutches of law due to carious reasons .[2] Trolling not only infringes privacy of the victims, it also affects women’s right to participate in economic, social and political affairs. Women in India have reported facing severe online abuse on the socio-verbal platform #Twitter.[3] Trolls have used racial, sexist, homophobic or misogynist to belittle or degrade women’s identity or social status. In most instances, trolls may be complete strangers who would come up for trolling for fun .[4] Unfortunately there is no focused law for regulating trolls or trolling. The exact nature and scale of online abuse by women because of trolling in the Indian context is still under-researched. Amnesty International’s Decoding Project, “Troll Patrol India”[5] is currently researching on this very issue. This project is encouraging researchers/ volunteers to analyse the nature of trolling and report the trolls . It has been noticed that pre and post general elections 2019 in India, there were huge incidents of trolling targeting women including female politicians, journalists, lawyers etc . The social media platforms such as Twitter where the instances of online abuse are most prevalent, need to take responsibility of protecting human rights of women to ensure that women using this platform are able to freely and fearlessly express their thoughts. The Troll Patrol India Project has engaged over 1500 Decoders from all over the country that has analyzed over 4 lakh comments that include homophobic language, explicit sexist, racist, ethnic or religious slurs.  Misogynist, racist trolling is showing no sign of slowing down especially towards the women. Amnesty International’s Decoding Project aims to research on typology of abusive Tweets targeting women. The project will form a considerable pool of research to impart light on how these trolls may dissuade women from freely posting their views on online platforms such as Twitter. In recent times, there have been many ‘women in tech’ initiatives, and things are changing ponderously but it is important to make the internet a safer platform for women. After all, it is necessary to protect the freedom of speech and expression of every woman by ensuring them their online privacy and a safe online environment. The need of the hour is to tackle online violence against women very seriously to uphold women and their enshrined rights in India. Surely, the intermediaries must have to play a bigger role in reaching out to this balance to provide women their online safety. 

   

*Dhananjay Bhati. BBA-LLB, 3rd year, Unitedworld School of Law, Karnavati University. The author is also a project member (Amnesty Decoder) of the Amnesty Decoding Project, Amnesty International India.   The author can be reached @ bhati.dhananjay25@gmail.com

  **This write up has been conceptualized by the author from the Amnesty Decoding Project. 

[1] Halder, D. (2013). Examining the scope of Indecent Representation of Women (Prevention) Act, 1986 in the light of cyber victimization of women in India. National Law School Journal, Vol. 11, 118-218 at p. 196.

[2] Bartlett, J. (2018, March 1). The Trolling and abuse of women rooted in online cultures. Retrieved from https://medium.com/@jamie.bartlett/the-trolling-and-abuse-of-women-rooted-in-online-cultures-667a54d4f88d

[3] Available at https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/troll-patrol-india.

4] Pinto, S. ( 2017, November 20). What is online violence and abuse against women. Retrieved from https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2017/11/what-is-online-violence-and-abuse-against-women/.

[5] Available at https://decoders.amnesty.org/projects/troll-patrol-india.

Gender and Internet: Web magazine for Cyber law for women News update for September 1-8, 2019

Two men get arrested under Sections 20 (offences against the dignity of a natural person), 21 (offences against modesty) and 24 (cyber stalking) of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca), 2016.and Section 109 (abatement) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) for harassing women with objectionable contents over WhatsApp in Pakistan
https://www.dawn.com/news/1503129

While High Court in Great Britain holds facial recognition by police legal, artist designs metal jewelry to block facial recognition
https://mymodernmet.com/ewa-nowak-avoid-facial-recognition/?fbclid=IwAR3r13ah1dpoWL3cwextY2JsALNSMrTVclEira4xMPyhyQDOGIAC2bNLoSM

Man gets arrested for creating impersonating profile of woman and using the same for sending lewd messages to other women in India
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/ahmedabad-man-arrested-for-harassing-women/articleshow/71001947.cms

35 year old Philippine woman who was arrested in July, 2019 for sending photos of her 4 year old son being sexually abused through an online messaging platform in lieu of money, is now sentenced for jail for 25 years by Philippines court. The woman is also sentenced to pay fine and damages.
https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1821966

YouTube fined for collecting personal data of children : cyber safety of children in the hands of service providers gets questioned again
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/sep/04/youtube-kids-fine-personal-data-collection-children-?CMP=share_btn_fb&fbclid=IwAR2g06Bm1k7WWZfp7d4NozJiKzhN17S-z9LaKNQ48aazpHGIyjp7KGWylsQ

Gender and Internet: Web magazine for Cyber law for women News update for August 21-31, 2019

Cyber flashing ( sending unsolicited sexually explicit contents through apps and through emails etc to women and and men) is now being considered as an illegal offence under Texas laws.
https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/nation-world/texas-and-bumble-crack-down-on-cyber-flashing/65-fd49bf52-28f2-4d48-8ef7-328df0662eaf

Spanish police arrests man for upskirt photography. He who had been capturing under wears of women commuting in trains by placing spy cam in the backpack and placing the bag on the ground. He uploaded these pictures captured without consent in adult sites and they were watched over million times. A total of 555 women were identifiable in these videos.
https://www.news18.com/news/world/man-arrested-in-spain-for-upskirting-over-500-women-posting-videos-online-2279241.html

Nigerian man who ran a racket for drugging, raping and stealing mobile phones and valuables of women allured through social media, tells the police that he had to do this because he did not have any decent job.
https://www.newtelegraphng.com/2019/08/why-i-lure-ladies-to-hotel-drug-rape-them/

Astronaut alleged to have unauthorisedly accessed back account of her estranged female spouse while on space. Time to rethink about expanding the jurisdiction of internet laws
https://interestingengineering.com/top-nasa-astronaut-accused-of-first-cybercrime-in-space

Two women plead guilty in disseminating, teaching and planning to create mass destructive weapons to create jihad attacks in the US over cyber space
https://saraacarter.com/two-women-from-queens-charged-with-plans-to-make-weapon-of-mass-destruction/

Man gets arrested for extortion for Rs. 12.96 Lakhs, sextortion and impersonation targeting woman in Hyderabad in India
http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/hyderabad/2019/aug/27/chennai-man-held-for-cyber-bullying-2024899.html

Pakistan court rejects bail for woman accused of rape video case who would allure women to be raped by her husband. She is accused of filming the rape scenes and blackmailing the victims with the captured contents.
https://tribune.com.pk/story/2043800/1-court-denies-bail-woman-rape-video-case/

3 ways how Artificial Intelligence may make women land in trouble by Dr.Debarati Halder

Image curtsy : Google

Information communication technology and digital communication technology have opened up new vistas for human relationships. The innovative technology with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI) can now read minds,[1] predict illness,[2] predict crime occurrence,[3] enhance the professional and social network, and help in better analytical understanding of subjects. But it can also leave devastating impacts on human life. It can alter the data (including personal data), harm social reputation and can even instigate victims to take extreme steps like committing suicide.[4] All these may be done by positive and negative usage   of artificial intelligence which plays the base role for empowering Apps which in turn may be used for positive and negative usages.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been used by web companies like Facebook for facial recognition of users earlier. AI has also been used for companies (other than web companies) for processing employee data. In short, AI has been used to access private information of individuals either consensually or without consent. Here are three ways as how AI may create an uncomfortable situation for women specifically in India :

  1. Facial Recognition Apps and harassment of women: Remember the time when Facebook suddenly started asking for nude photos individuals for upgrading their own safety system apparently for providing safety mechanisms for subscribers?[5] This project was intended to build up a safety mechanism against revenge porn with the help of Artificial Intelligence. Facebook wanted to empower their subscribers, especially women to report revenge porn. But before that, the company wanted to ensure that the revenge porn content showcased the image that belonged to the victim specifically. The facial recognition app, the skin texture, hair color, biometric recognition technology would be matching both the images (the nude picture of the victim and the revenge porn content created by the perpetrator) and would be identifying the revenge porn content as illegal. But this project received stern objections because there were more possibilities of misuse of nude photos than positive use of the same. Facebook -Cambridge analytica case did prove that nothing is impossible when it comes to preservation of data by body-corporates and data of individuals is always profitable and the security of the  same is vulnerable. But this may not seem to be as dangerous as misuse of Face App may seem to be . FaceApp is basically used to change the face structure of the person whose photograph would be used in this App. It can change the texture of the skin and density of hair including facial hair.  In July, 2019, FaceApp became the center of concern for Indian cyber security stakeholders especially when several celebrities started using FaceApp and started showcasing their changed faces on Instagram.   While FaceApp was basically being used for fun purposes, it may also throw challenges for data safety and security of person concerned. FaceApp helps to change the structure of faces. But we should not forget that the altered facial image can be saved in devices and cloud of different individuals. This altered image may be used for several illegal activities. Predators may unauthorizedly access the social media profiles and change facial images of the victims to create fake profiles; they may also use such images to create a completely new impersonating profile to harass women. Altered facial images of women may also be used for revenge purposes especially when the victim is looking for opportunities in the entertainment or advertisement sector where her appearance may be considered as her biggest asset. Apart from this, FaceApp may be used to attract bullies and trolls to intensify victimization of women.
  2. Bringing back the memory: No one, but the web companies clearly remember what we posted in last summer. Every day social media companies would show what was posted by the user a year back or a couple of years back and would gently remind the user that he/she can share the said post as a memory. How does it happen? The web companies look for algorithm and the highest likes and comments for posts on daily or even hourly basis. When the posts earn more likes and comments, the AI decides to bring it forth. In certain situations, such refreshing of memories might not be ‘wanted’ at all especially when the victim might had a bitter ending of the relationship with persons in the said image or the text in question may no longer evoke good memories, but rather traumatize the victim more. But machine intelligence does not fail the company: it is a matter of consent and choice after all. But consider if the account is unauthorizedly accessed: the hacker may get to know something from the past which the victim may never wanted the hacker to know.
  3. Reminding the user about best low prices : AI runs over the internet like blood vessels carrying oxygen all over the body. When a user decides to compare prices of any product or services, AI helps to share the same almost always on any platform the user would be visiting. It might be extremely embarrassing for any woman if such searches start showing results when she is surfing the social media or even the search engine with a friend or another individual. Nothing is left by the AI from prices of lipsticks, hotels at cheaper rate, flight details to last watched videos on how to conceive. This might also make women face discrimination, office bullying and harassment due to several reasons.

These are but some of the many ways as how AI may make women to land in trouble. AI is necessarily connected with data privacy protection policies of web companies. The EU General Data Protection Regulation, 2018 provides that personal data may not be processed without the consent of the owner of the data.[6] But in this case, there can be legal tangles as web companies may  claim that they do not breach the data confidentiality or transfer the data to any other jurisdiction, neither they process the data without proper authorization. Here, multiple stakeholders may be involved which may include the original owner of the content or the picture which may have been processed for the purpose of harassment : the perpetrator, who may have carried out changes on the data using the AI supported Apps, perpetrators who may have unauthorizedly  stored the altered contents, picture or information or may have used the altered information, picture for creating impersonating profile etc. As per Indian legal understanding, altering, modifying etc of contents/ information/ image /images without proper authorization of the original owner of the  information etc may attract penal provisions under the Information Technology Act, 2000 (amended in 2008): these provisions may include Ss 43 (Penalty and compensation for damage to computer, computer system etc, ), 66 (computer related offences, 66C (punishment for identity theft) and 66D (punishment by cheating by personation by using computer resource etc. This may also attract penal provisions for Copy Right violation as well. Further, the web companies may be narrowly be liable for protecting data properly under several provisions including S.43A which speaks about body corporates liability to protect data. But irrespective of existing provisions, web companies may always escape the clutches of law due to due diligence clause and on the question of consent expressly or impliedly provided by the woman victim concerned. In the EU, courts are becoming more and more concerned about policy violations by web companies to fool the users. In India too, the courts must throw light on the web companies responsibility as data repository. Regulations like Data protection Bill, 2018 must be considered with utmost care. These may have the key to solve problems of online victimization of women.

Also, women users need to be extremely cautious about machine intelligence. Awareness must be spread about how the hidden ‘safety valves’ of the web companies (which may actually make the web companies more powerful against claims of lack of due diligence) may be used properly.  

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[1] For example, see Nosta John (2019) A.I. Can Now Read Your Thoughts—And Turn Them Into Words and Images. Published @ https://fortune.com/2019/05/07/artificial-intelligence-mind-reading-technology/ on May 7, 2019

[2] For example, see PTI (2019), These AI tools can predict early death risk due to chronic diseases

Published @//economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/68611835.cms?from=mdr&utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst on March 28, 2019

[3] Dearden Lizzi (2017) How technology is allowing police to predict where and when crime will happen. Published @ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/police-big-data-technology-predict-crime-hotspot-mapping-rusi-report-research-minority-report-a7963706.html?fbclid=IwAR334Z4-1KlkK5Xrt_R6IUaU7K35bANkPLc3RAUhHUeEf-eerZseEJbSofo on October 7, 2017

[4] Halder D., & Jaishankar, K (2016.) Cyber crimes against women in India.

New Delhi: SAGE Publications. ISBN: 9789385985775

[5] See for example Solon Olivia (2017) Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat ‘revenge porn’. Published in https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/07/facebook-revenge-porn-nude-photos  on November 7, 2017

[6] For more, see S.7 of the EU GDPR . URL: https://gdpr-info.eu/art-7-gdpr/ Accessed on 17-08-2019