Automating safety and consent in digital dating culture: Reflections on everyday negotiations of safety, risk and wellbeing

Event status:

Headshot of Professor Kath Albury (a woman with blond hair and glasses) smiling against a background of trees and grass You are invited to an ARCSHS Research and Practice Seminar by Professor Kath Albury.

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Date:
Wednesday 18 August 2021 04:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Contact:
Dr Stephanie Lusby
S.Lusby@latrobe.edu.au
Presented by:
Professor Kath Albury
Type of Event:
Public Lecture; Public

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The NSW police minister recently drew widespread public attention by suggesting dating app users would be 'safer' if law enforcement officers were able to directly access Tinder messaging data. This proposal came not long after his claim that a 'consent app' was a desirable and workable means of enhancing young women's safety in sexual encounters. This paper reflects on the ways app user's safety and wellbeing has been framed within both popular and expert discourse - including news reporting on sexual health and sexual assault associated with dating app use. It contextualises these public conversations about safety and risk in relation to the findings of a recent ARC-funded mixed-methods study, in which Australian 18-35-year-old dating and hook-up app users of diverse sexualities and genders were invited to reflect on the elements of app design and app cultures that made them feel safer or less safe. In doing so, it interrogates the gaps between 'expert' definitions of safety and risk, and everyday user negotiations of dating (and data) cultures, in order to speculate on what 'safety by design' might look like in relation to sexual health and consent.

About Professor Kath Albury

Professor Kath Albury is an Associate Investigator, Centre for Automated Decision-Making and Society, Swinburne University of Technology, and co-leads the Digital Participation and Inclusion program in Swinburne’s Social Innovation Research Institute. Recent research projects investigated Australian user perceptions of risk, safety and wellbeing on dating apps (in collaboration with ACON Health and Family Planning NSW); and explored the potential of ‘data for social good’, in collaboration with three Victorian not-for-profit organisations.  Her new co-authored book 'Everyday Data Cultures' (with Jean Burgess, Anthony McCosker and Rowan Wilken) will be published by Polity in 2022.

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