Data Security and Privacy

A big problem that gets little attention

The issue of violence is a problem that our society still hasn't been able to get a handle on. But it's not just the violence itself that's the problem, it's also how the issue is perceived in society: the impact and the consequences of individual experiences of violence are dramatically underestimated on a larger societal level. There’s a desire to do better, but there’s no data to back it up. 

Tragically, those who work every day to improve this situation through their work – whether at prevention organizations, in politics, or at NGOs – lack both the necessary funding and basic data on the different problems associated with violence. Too few studies have been done to date. The reasons range from complex data protection requirements to the simply unmanageable effort of quantitative studies under these conditions, to unacceptably high potential risks for potential study participants. Studies therefore often aren't realized, even though there’s been a demand by experts for years and decades. 



 

We’re bringing light into the dark: understanding the complexity of the issue


Initially, the demand for data might be confusing: isn’t way more important to concentrate on providing more resources for people affected by violence? The answer to that question is: “yes, but”. It only makes sense to develop, finance, and improve resources if we really know what’s effective. And we can only develop that knowledge with extensive qualitative and quantitative data.  
 

With up-to-date studies on violence, organization that fight for victims of violence could not only prove how big a problem violence really is in our society, but they could also improve and adapt their support to victims’ actual needs. A study could, for example, find out more about the other social, economic and individual factors that violence is linked to. Of course, experts have known for a long time from practice that it is precisely those people who are (multiply) marginalized in our society who are affected by violence and that resources for those who have fewer economic opportunities, do not speak German, have refugee experiences, and those that are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation, or their origin have different needs. But what exactly these needs look like, how many people are affected by them and which additional support they might need needs to finally be scientifically studied.  



 

Lou&You gets the data. Good-bye data gaps!

This is the gap where Lou&You can provide a digital connection between victims and survivors of violence and the existing systems and resources. According to their individual and unique circumstances, we can guide them to the organizations that can provide them with the best help. And through it all, we’re gathering insights that were never seen before on a global level. Through detailed and intersectional data analysis, Lou&You can provide an exponentially more comprehensive picture of the current status quo than any individual study could. With an estimated 400,000 data sets per year – and that's just in Germany – existing support can be adapted to the actual needs of those affected by violence and new prevention programs can be developed.

The safety of data collection is of utmost importance to us, and the protection of our users will always be our top priority. And if the need is proven in studies, the necessary resources will no longer be an obstacle. 
This is why Lou&You is working to revolutionize the data landscape. Together with renowned research institutes and leading scientists, we will publish the most quantitative study on violence prevalence in Germany in 2023 that there has ever been. Until then, we are constantly in exchange with experts and organizations with which we jointly identify the research questions that urgently need to be addressed. 



 

Survivors as part of the solution

At Lou&You, we have the unique opportunity to not only help those affected by violence in an innovative and digital way, but also to allow them to share their usage data for our research. This means that those who seek help from Lou&You would make certain disclosures that would help us better assess violence prevalence. 

It is important to mention here that this of course does not affect any personal data of our users, that is, user data such as an e-mail address or name. We are only interested in data about the use, so-called usage data. This includes, for example, how many people who said they live in the Kassel area experienced a certain act of violence last year. The use of data can also reveal potential correlations in terms of intersectionality. For example, how many users in Germany have indicated that they are additionally affected by a second form of discrimination. Usage data can also include the language specified, the state specified, or certain security settings, as well as the number of users who have clicked on a particular page. 

We will never share study data, even in anonymous form, with anyone else or grant third parties access to our code. We want to ensure the independence of our studies and data sovereignty at all times. This complies not only with data protection law but also with our personal responsibility. 


 

Lou's data potential doesn't end with usage data: voluntary questionnaires, here we come!

We will not only generate insights from the usage data, but also by offering voluntary questionnaires on further topics. In this way, users can specify that they are willing to contribute to research by filling out additional short questionnaires. 

We want to use Lou&You to expand our knowledge of sexualized and domestic violence experiences among those affected, and their willingness to participate in studies. This can also empower them to play a role in improving the problem. 

 

 

DSGVO compliance? Sure thing 

Of course Lou&You is GDPR-compliant. We not only have great data protection officers, but also work with internationally leading data protection experts who help us design our approach. We are also in close contact with an excellent lawyer who has been working with our founders from the beginning to make privacy by design possible. 

According to GDPR compliance, users always have the following rights with regard to their data: 

Right to request information: Users can always request information about their personal data stored by us: 

  • Right to information: users can always request information about the personal data that we collect from them 

  • Right to correction: if incorrect personal data is processed by us, it can be corrected immediately  

  • Right to deletion or restriction of processing of personal data or right of objection to processing  

  • Right to data forwarding. 




 

We're not content with just GDPR compliance – we want even more security!

At Lou&You, the security of our users is our top priority, so we only collect the data that is actually needed to help those affected by violence. For this reason, for example, the Lou&You account is not created with an e-mail address so that there’s no added security risks. In addition, it will not be possible to save passwords on the computer generally, only if the person explicitly requests it. We have developed sophisticated security features and provide our users with security tips for the safest possible use. We also build certain settings into our code ourselves. An example of this is that we refrain from any nudging that is otherwise a standard market mechanism. We do not use special colors or font sizes in our cookie banner to persuade our users to accept all cookies. On the contrary, we have designed it so that fewer people accept all cookies, if necessary, in order to avoid risks here as well. 
 

Taking the step of seeking help from Lou&You should not pose an additional risk. In the future, we will also develop further security measures, for which we work with different experts to minimize risks for specific user groups.  

If you have any suggestions that could increase the safety of users, please feel free to contact Nessa at: nb@louandyou.org

 


 

 

Lou&You has big plans for more technological innovation!
 

We also have a high demand for innovation in other technologies. For example, we already provide information about the application of homomorphic encryption and the development of AI. For example, in order to be able to recognize the risk of suicide of a person among other things by their usage behavior and then to send them a message with emergency contacts and other helpful info. We are also looking forward to connecting with you, to fully exploit the potential of technological innovations and to improve Lou constantly. 

 



 

Our added value for resources 

In our work with resource providers, NGOs, and counseling centers, we not only want to develop concepts together, but also solve problems in working with victims and survivors. Lou&You will provide a database of resource providers and experts, which has never before been available on a global scale. For months now we have been intensively working on collecting data for our database and are extremely happy about every organization that already has contacts or its own data lists. This can also be very specific lists, such as a certain group of doctors in a city, good legal counseling centers in a state, or contacts for emotional relief for a certain group of those affected. 

 



 

Data Protection not only for users

The privacy and security of data is always our top priority. This means that not only does every user have control over their data, but of course all experts and organizations that will be found in our database also have the same rights to view and delete their data. Data security is also ensured here, so we are pleased to receive as much information as possible about resources, from telephone numbers or e-mail addresses to opening times or possibly addresses of contact points for those affected. 

 



 

Digital optimization of our help system

Our top priority right now is the software for those affected by violence. After that, however, we also want to develop software for counseling organizations, where they can always enter changing capacities, special expertise in the team, or vacation days in the database. In this way, only those affected should be referred to counseling centers when they themselves currently have the necessary capacities. Filtering or personalizing needs leads to more effective counseling and a more pleasant experience for those affected. This software will also allow users to rate consultations and services, or to give feedback. There is currently no such comprehensive rating system, and this is something we aim to fill. The data on how useful a phone call to a certain service was, or how helpful the advice from an organization was, can show which obstacles still exist in the help system, what is frustrating for those affected, and which procedures can be improved. Also, experiences with individual employees can be very enlightening and reveal potential dangers. This not only facilitates our work by giving direct feedback to help offers, but also the data base helps us to argue for certain changes vis-à-vis politics or decision makers. The training of certain professions can also be better adapted to the needs of those affected. 



 

Our vision in a nutshell

By utilizing the vast potential of technological innovation, Lou&You can now give victims and survivors of violence what they need. For us, the safety of our users comes first. And money most definitely doesn’t.  
 

Help us create a safer world. For those affected by violence, the people trying to support them, and for those who fight violence on the big scale every day.