Virginia Franqueira

University of Kent, UK
Fighting sexual abuse and exploitation of children
Wed 31 Jul | 10:45 - 12:15 | SR05

Virginia Franqueira 01/01

Dr Virginia Franqueira is a senior lecturer (associate professor) in cyber security at the University of Kent (UK), Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS). She is the director of Kent’s Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education, Gold Award 2023-2028 (recognised by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of the GCHQ). She has around 70 publications and her research interests include digital forensics and incident response (e.g., use of concepts from structured argumentation to expose logical inferences in digital forensics practice and organisations’ learning process after cyber incidents), studies related to cybercrime and interpersonal crimes (e.g., child sexual abuse and exploitation, cyberstalking and domestic abuse), and pre-university cyber security education. She was nominated as a member of the EURASIP (European Association for Signal Processing) – Technical Area Committee on BForSec (Biometrics, Data Forensics, and Security), tenure 2023-2025.

Fighting sexual abuse and exploitation of children

The number of reported victims of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation (CSA/CSE) continues to grow worldwide. For example, the WeProtect Global Alliance’s Global Threat Assessment 2023 indicates a growth of 87% on the number of CSA/CSE reports since 2019 and the likelihood of a much larger number, since a lot of child exploitation and online abuse remains undetected. The HEROES project (Novel Strategies to Fight Child Sexual Exploitation and Human Trafficking Crimes and Protect Their Victims)[1]
and the ALUNA project (Child Protection Centred Strategies to Fight against Sexual Abuse and Exploitation)[2], both funded by the European Commission, address this growing problem from a prevention, investigation and victims assistance perspectives. Taking a multidisciplinary approach, HEROES and ALUNA develop technical tools, best practices and strategies to equip law enforcement agencies (LEAs), legal stakeholders, non-government organisations (NGOs) and the public with better capabilities for CSA/CSE reporting, prosecution and detection – within and beyond Europe. This talk will provide an overview of some of the tools being developed, and will also lay the foundation for discussion about the emerging challenge of AI-generated CSA/CSE.




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