Two projects from Northumbria University are to receive a share of £11m of research funding to further understanding of Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security (TIPS) issues in the digital economy.
The projects are among 11 across the UK selected by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) which aim to address the challenges experienced by those who use and interact with digital data, and those giving others access to their data online.
One of the projects selected to receive funding is entitled ‘INTUIT: Interaction Design for Trusted Sharing of Personal Health Data to Live Well with HIV’, led by Dr Abigail Durrant, Associate Professor in the School of Design.
The project aims to identify and address fundamental TIPS challenges faced by those living with stigmatised long-term conditions, such as HIV, in managing their health and interacting with care services, peer support networks, and private organisations.
Dr Durrant, a design researcher specialising in the field of Human Computer Interaction, said: “A key concern that we address in the project, is how an individual’s personal data about their health and lifestyle may be subjected to potential stigma or discrimination, with implications for their digital identity management.”
The second Northumbria project to receive funding is the Cumulative Revelations of Personal Data project, led at Northumbria by Dr Jo Briggs, Associate Professor in Interaction Design, also in the School of Design at Northumbria.
The research will explore how small, apparently innocuous pieces of personal information that are shared online can collectively pose significant risks to personal reputation, as well as employers’ operation security.
The project will develop a prototype software tool to map out a portrait of a user’s digital footprint. This will then be reflected back to them, allowing them to understand how their personal data accumulates and the vulnerabilities and risks this creates.
Dr Briggs said: “Much research concentrates on the security of systems used by businesses and employers when a significant security risk is the ‘human factor’. Less well explored is the potential consequences of cumulative disclosure and associated consequences.”
Both of Northumbria’s projects are based within the University’s School of Design, which has a strong reputation for interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration, with researchers regularly joining forces with academic colleagues from other disciplines and institutions, as well as with representatives from industry, the public sector, and the community.
Dr Durrant said: “It is great news to receive funding for highly interdisciplinary research with Design playing a central, leading role. At Northumbria School of Design we are continuing to demonstrate the value of Research-through-Design for tackling complex societal challenges, and for inspiring new, alternative possibilities for living, and for understanding the world and our relationships to it.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement