My work sits within these overlapping research areas:

Ethnography of Collective Security Practices

Grounded in ethnography, this research area explores how (information) security is negotiated, shaped and practised within groups. Information security is understood as a collective endeavour, grounded in trust relations and shared security goals within groups; where security for the group is negotiated between group members and where individual security notions are shaped by those of the group as well as their social settings. In other words, information security experienced and practised collectively.

Through extended ethnographic fieldwork, this research area engages the often ‘hidden’ and unvoiced groups and communities not generally considered in the design of security technologies. In particular, it focuses on labour communities, isolated and disconnected communities as well as protesters and higher-risk groups. Ethnography is uniquely placed to uncover such collective and situated practices through extended field studies, driven by immersion and observation with and within the groups it aims to understand. It enables long-term explorations of, for example, what security looks and feels like for the groups under study. How security is experienced and voiced and how it is negotiated and shared between group members. How security technologies are used and for what purposes within groups. What security expectations are held within groups and how they manifest themselves.

Security at the Margins

This research area is rooted in the social sciences and critical humanities and aims to interrogate and challenge the assumptions of position and power that underpin security technology practice and design. In particular, researchers in the ISG are researching the security of marginalised and under-served communities and groups that often find themselves disempowered, unvoiced and unrepresented by technology design and practice. This research area considers the approaches, notions and strategies of security and insecurity by, for example, refugees and migrants, welfare claimants, prisoners, isolated and disconnected communities as they navigate a digitally mediated everyday. As such, the margins are loosely defined and can be understood in cultural, economic, geographical, occupational, social terms.

This research area employs qualitative research methods, ground-up research approaches, collective and co-produced research practices in information security, in contrast to quantitative approaches favoured elsewhere, while also being founded upon feminist and sociological notions of security.