“It was an eye-opener,” says privacy advocate Gus Hosein when he talks about the findings from APC's exploratory research on sexuality and the internet in Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa, and USA. And it's given him some good ammunition with which to field those radio callers who question the need for privacy online.

But as a serious researcher himself based at the London School of Economics and deputy director of Privacy International responsible for research and networking, what impresses Hosein most is the soft part of the research -- the stories and the contextualisation.

EroTICs has given advocates more stories and more contexts to think about, that debates about privacy and censorship lacked he says. “It was the first time I saw debates of this nature, told in these deeply emotive ways. [And it] reeks of research, clinical research.”

“I wish real research did this more often,” he says. “I have not seen real research of this nature.”

EroTICs is an exploratory research on sexuality and internet (apc.org/en/projects/erotics-exploratory-research-project-sexuality-and-0) carried out by APC in 2009-10. The full report will be out later this year. Summaries of the EroTICs findings in each of the five countries under study (apc.org/en/system/files/Erotics_Exec_Summary.pdf) are now online.

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