Human Computer Interaction, Wendy Moncur (University of Dundee)

  • 11am

  • Informatics Forum, Room G.03
    10 Crichton Street
    EH8 9AB

Led by Wendy Moncur (University of Dundee)

Keeping Secrets Online

What strategies do people deploy in keeping secrets online? And how can these strategies be repurposed to (i) enhance the capacity of UK security agencies to detect & mitigate threats generated via online channels, and (ii) support those who keep secrets as parts of their jobs in countering UK & International security threats.

We reviewed over 8000 research papers, uncovering a range of strategies, barriers and enablers involved in keeping secrets online. Three example contexts were used: supply and purchase of illegal drugs, escaping from intimate partner violence, and infidelity. We then condensed our findings, producing a short graphic novel - the “Illustrated Guide to Keeping secrets Online” – for use with security and law enforcement stakeholders in a series of well-received interactive workshops.

This Design Informatics talk describes the approach taken, key findings, development of the Guide and subsequent impact workshops with stakeholders.

Professor Wendy Moncur is Interdisciplinary Chair of Digital Living at the University of Dundee, and leads the Living Digital Group ( She holds a PhD in Computer Science and an MSc in Multimedia and Interactive Systems (Distinction). She is a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College, and is a Visiting Scholar at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Professor Moncur and her group carry out research into lived experience in the Digital Age, focussing on online identity, reputation, trust and security. Her impactful research traverses disciplinary boundaries, drawing on Human Computer Interaction, psychology, sociology, digital anthropology and design. She collaborates with industry (e.g. Microsoft, Royal Bank of Scotland, Bristows), Government, and a range of academic disciplines.

She has designed and led stakeholder impact events with audiences including GO-Science, the Information Commissioner’s Office, Metropolitan Police, National Crime Agency and Government security agencies, and has also advised Facebook on policy development. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters in leading academic venues, and communicated her research to the public via venues as diverse as the Cheltenham International Book Festival, the BBC and The Atlantic. Before moving into academia, Wendy worked for 18 years in the IT industry, across financial services, utilities and manufacturing sectors.

Moncur has held research grants totalling ~£3.5 Million since 2011. Her current grants include Cumulative Revelations of Personal Data (~£1Million, Principal Investigator) and TAPESTRY: Trust, Authentication and Privacy over a DeCentralised Social Registry (£855K), funded by the EPSRC Digital Economy TIPS program. She also leads on Keeping Secrets Online(£125K) funded by the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats, and Meaningful Metadata (£72K) funded by Microsoft Research UK.

Part of the 2019/20 Design Informatics Research Seminar series

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