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David Vascott

News, Features and Opinion Editor, Solicitors Journal

MPs call on government to tackle 'tech abuse'

MPs call on government to tackle 'tech abuse'


The government should address the issue of domestic abuse  enabled by smart technology, such as fitness trackers, MPs say.

In a report by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee - 'Connect tech: smart or sinister?' - MPs say that domestic abuse faciliated by smart technology and connected devices is becoming a growing problem.

In a press release, the committee said:

"The Committee launched its inquiry in May last year to consider both the potential benefit and harms of connected technology, such as smart speakers, virtual assistants and wearable fitness trackers. Government figures state that there are on average nine connected devices in every household in the UK, while by 2050 there will be 24 billion interconnected devices worldwide.

"On tech abuse, the Committee heard evidence that the vast majority of domestic abuse cases now feature some sort of cyber element, including the use of spyware, and perpetrators monitoring movements and collecting recordings and images of victims and survivors.

"The report calls on the Government to improve the skills of law enforcement and the response of the criminal justice system, while boosting awareness of specialist services tackling violence against women and girls. Manufacturers and distributors also need to be brought together to mitigate risks through product design."