We present a qualitative inquiry through the lens of feminist human-computer interaction (HCI) into women's perceptions of personal safety in New Delhi, India. Since a brutal gang-rape incident in December 2012 that received global attention, the Indian government has issued a mandate to implement a panic button on every new phone by 2017. We draw on interview and survey data to examine women's reactions to the mandate as well as what factors influence their perceptions of safety, both positively and negatively. Our findings indicate that women's sense of safety may be deconstructed into a multitude of factors--personal, public, social, technological--that must be aligned for this sense of safety to be preserved. We then discuss the implications these factors have for the success and design of the panic button.
In the TanDEm lab, we focus on matters relating to the design, deployment, adoption, and use of technologies towards empowerment - of underserved and under-represented communities in resource-constrained regions across the world.