Gender and sexuality

15 Apr 2020
Eight days after instituting a gender-based quarantine schedule, Peruvian president Martin Vizcarra cancelled the measure two days before it was due to end. It had been met with a backlash from LGBTQ+ activists, who feared trans and binary people would face increasing street harassment from police
01 Apr 2020
Because many people were still circulating on the streets despite the lockdown order issued on March 25, Panama expanded its social distancing measures by implementing gender-based quarantine schedules from April 1 to April 12: men may leave their homes to get necessities on Mondays, Wednesdays, and
10 Apr 2020
On April 2 Peruvian president Martín Vizcarra issued a controversial rule that men and women must observe quarantine on different days: men may leave their homes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while women may leave only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. No one is allowed out on Sundays
A new investigative report from Sharona Coutts at Rewire exposed how anti-choice groups, including at least one adoption agency, were resorting to using a technology called "geofencing" to find and then target individuals they believe are considering abortion, with targeted ads. Two groups, a
16 Sep 2019
Ahead of the Irish referendum to amend the Constitutions of Ireland to allow the parliament to legislative for abortion which took place in May 2018, Google decided to stop all advertising relating to the referendum on all of its advertising platforms, including AdWords and YouTube. This followed
16 Sep 2019
Bethany Christian Services, an international pregnancy support and adoption agency, is launching a programme with Copley Advertising to send targeted ads to individuals visiting Planned Parenthood clinics, abortion clinics, methadone clinics and high-risk areas (AHPA). The targeting will be done
15 Jul 2019
US campaigners supported by the Catholic church are promoting the app Femm, which collects sensitive data about women's sexual lives and aim to scare women from using hormonal birth control, in rural Nigeria. Femm received a $100,000 from the Papal Foundation to promote their app. https://www
08 May 2018
Following pressure from civil society and pro-abortion groups, Facebook announced on May 8th 208 a ban on foreign ads related to the Irish referendum on abortion. Facebook said they were being consistent with Irish electoral law. https://www.irishtimes.com/business/technology/facebook-bans-foreign
A February 2019 study of facial recognition systems found that these systems are not designed with transgender and nonbinary people in mind. Researcher Os Keyes studied 30 years of facial recognition research, including 58 separate research papers, and found that more than 90% of the time
In November 2018, Italy's Data Protection Authority advised against a proposal from the country's Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, to replace "parent 1 and parent 2" on children's national ID cards with "mother and father". Salvini, who campaigned for election earlier in 2018 on a socially
The pregnancy apps many women were using in December 2018 proved to be incapable of handling miscarriages, even though up to 20% of all known pregnancies end this way. There are only two choices: allow the apps to continue sending alerts celebrating the pregnancy's progress or delete the pregnancy
Le Monde exposed anti-IVG (anti-abortion) advertising on Facebook as part of a borader campaign led by anti-abortion website IVG.net. The advertisement relied on stock photos and fake testimonies posted in public Facebook groups and promoted to young women. Most of the posts attempt to promote the
01 Feb 2016
French website IVG.net, first Google result when typing IVG (Interuption Volontaire de Grossesse or abortion in french), has been exposed as being anti-abortion website spreading misinformation. Offering an official looking "Numero vert" (free to call phone number number), IVG.net attempts to
06 May 2019
Absher, an online platform and mobile phone app created by the Saudi Arabian government, can allow men to restrict women’s ability to travel, live in Saudi Arabia, or access government services. This app, which is available in the Google and Apple app stores, supports and enables the discriminatory
14 Dec 2018
The New York City public benefits system has been criticized for its punitive design, how it too often disciplines, rather than helps, people who are legally entitled to benefits. According to Mariana Chilton, the public benefits system is designed to control, surveil, and penalize low-income people
01 Feb 2011
The DWP relies on anti-fraud officers who go and spy on benefit claimants to verify their claims. For instance, claimants who declare that they are a lone parent may end up with an officer trying to verify there is no one else living in the house. And once they are confident that the alleged lone
22 Aug 2017
In August 2017, it was reported that a researcher scraped videos of transgender Youtubers documenting their transition process without informing them or asking their permission, as part of an attempt to train artificial intelligence facial recognition software to be able to identify transgender
11 May 2018
In 2018, the Brazil-based Coding Rights' feminist online cybersecurity guide Chupadados undertook a study of four popular period-tracking apps to find which best protected user privacy. Most, they found, rely on collecting and analysing data in order to be financially viable. The apps track more
20 Aug 2018
In August 2018 the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first over-the-counter digital contraceptive, an app called Natural Cycles. The app, which analyses basal body temperature readings and monthly menstruation data to determine whether unprotected sex is likely to lead to pregnancy
In January 2019, it was discovered that the HIV-positive status of 14,200 people in Singapore, as well as their identification numbers and contact details, had been leaked online. According to a statement of the Ministry of Health, records leaked include 5,400 Singaporeans diagnosed as HIV-positive
07 Jul 2018
In a 2018 interview, the Stanford professor of organisational behaviour Michal Kosinski discussed his research, which included a controversial and widely debunked 2017 study claiming that his algorithms could distinguish gay and straight faces; a 2013 study of 58,000 people that explored the
04 Apr 2017
In 2017, the Massachusetts attorney general's office reached an agreement under which Boston-based Copley Advertising agreed to eschew sending mobile ads to patients visiting Planned Parenthood and other health clinics. In 2015, Copley's geofencing technique used location information from
20 Feb 2018
In 2018, pending agreement from its Institutional Review Board, the University of St Thomas in Minnesota will trial sentiment analysis software in the classroom in order to test the software, which relies on analysing the expressions on students' faces captured by a high-resolution webcam
11 Jan 2018
In 2017, a study claimed to have shown that artificial intelligence can infer sexual orientation from facial images, reviving the kinds of claims made in the 19th century about inferring character from outer appearance. Despite widespread complaints and criticisms, the study, by Michal Kosinski and
24 Nov 2017
Recognising that many parents will be considering purchasing connected toys and other devices for their children, for Christmas 2017 the UK's Information Commissioner's Office issued a list of 12 guidelines for assessing products before purchasing. These include: research the product's security
10 Nov 2017
Owners of the Hong Kong-based sex toy company Lovense's vibrators who installed the company's remote control app were surprised to discover that the app was recording user sessions without their knowledge. They had authorised the app to use the phone's built-in microphone and camera, but only for
04 Sep 2016
A pregnancy-tracking app collected basic information such as name, address, age, and date of last period from its users. A woman who miscarried found that although she had entered the miscarriage into the app to terminate its tracking, the information was not passed along to the marketers to which
12 Jan 2016
In 2016 reports surfaced that bricks-and-mortar retailers were beginning to adopt physical-world analogues to the tracking techniques long used by their online counterparts. In a report, Computer Sciences Corporation claimed that about 30% of retailers were tracking customers in-store via facial
08 Sep 2016
The "couples vibrator" We-Vibe 4 Plus is controlled via a smartphone app connected to the device via Bluetooth. In 2016, researchers revealed at Defcon that the devices uses its internet connectivity to send information back to its manufacturer including the device's temperature, measured every
20 May 2016
In 2016, Nguyen Phong Hoang, a security researcher in Kyoto, Japan demonstrated that the location of users of gay dating apps such as Grindr, Hornet, and Jack'd can be pinpointed even when they have turned on features intended to obscure it - a dangerous problem for those have not come out publicly
25 May 2016
In 2015, Boston advertising executive John Flynn, CEO of Copley Advertising, began developing a system that uses standard online advertising and tracking techniques, coupled with geofencing, to send advertisements to women's smartphones when they are sitting inside Planned Parenthood clinics and
23 Jun 2018
Even after they move out, domestic abusers may retain control over their former residence via Internet of Things devices and the mobile phone apps that control them. Using those tools, abusers can confuse, intimidate, and spy upon their former spouses and partners. Lack of knowledge about how these