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October 21, 2020 Wednesday 12:52:42 PM IST

Cyber centre to reduce digital harm

Leadership Instincts

A team of Edinburgh scientists will play a key role in a new cyber security centre that will help keep citizens safe online. The £8.6 million national Research Centre on Privacy, Harm Reduction and Adversarial Influence Online (REPHRAIN) will explore the online harms that diverse groups can be exposed to, the effectiveness of privacy and online safety measures and how to balance the risks with improving participation in a growing digital economy. Led by the University of Bristol, the centre will bring together experts from the Universities of Edinburgh and Bath, King’s College London and UCL. The group will work with partners in industry, policy and the third sector to develop measures to boost peoples’ privacy and online safety.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics and Edinburgh College of Art will develop a Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) Testbed and a Citizens Advice Bureau. These platforms, the first of their kind in the world, will assess the effectiveness and usability of technical measures to ensure privacy and online harm reduction.

Other REPHRAIN teams will develop a map to assist the public, policymakers, and researchers when dealing with privacy and online harm issues. The guide will act as a blueprint for future certification of online products and services.

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