Mitigating Technology Abuse in Intimate Partner Violence

Thomas Ristenpart, Cornell Tech


Our research group studies the role technology plays in intimate partner violence (IPV). Via interviews with survivors and support professionals, online measurement studies, and investigation of malicious software tools purpose-built for abuse, we have documented how abusers exploit technology to control, harass, stalk, and otherwise harm their current or former partner. To help survivors, we work with technology companies and lawmakers to affect positive changes and, more directly, we have put into practice a new interventional approach that we call clinical computer security. Our Clinic to End Tech Abuse works in partnership with the New York City Mayor's Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to help survivors navigate technology abuse and, ultimately, empower their use of technology.

In this talk I will provide a brief overview of our work on IPV technology abuse, and use it as a case study for "advocate-scientist" models that blend basic research with direct advocacy work in close collaboration with a community.

This talk will cover joint work with a large number of collaborators and clinic volunteers. See and for more information.

Thomas Ristenpart, Cornell Tech

Thomas Ristenpart is an Associate Professor at Cornell Tech and a member of the Computer Science department at Cornell University. His research spans a wide range of computer security topics, with recent focuses including digital privacy and safety in intimate partner violence, mitigating abuse and harassment online, cloud computing security, improvements to authentication mechanisms including passwords, confidentiality and privacy in machine learning, and topics in applied and theoretical cryptography.

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@conference {274501,
author = {Thomas Ristenpart},
title = {Mitigating Technology Abuse in Intimate Partner Violence},
year = {2021},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

Presentation Video