Tuesday January 21, 2020
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A Data Project To Predict Human Trafficking Before It Occurs By Corporate Giants

Along with IBM and Western Union, participants include Europol, Europe's law enforcement agency is also included

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Human Trafficking
People protesting against human trafficking and slavery raise their fists during a demonstration in Mexico City. VOA

Computer giant IBM Corp., financial services company Western Union
Co. and European police launched a project Thursday to share financial data that they said may one day be able to predict human trafficking before it occurs.

The shared data hub will collect information on money moving around the world and compare it with known ways that traffickers move their illicit gains, highlighting red flags signaling potential trafficking, organizers said.

“We will build and aggregate that material, using IBM tools, into an understanding of hot spots and routes and trends,” said Neil Giles, a director at global anti-slavery group Stop the Traffik, which is participating in the project.

Human Trafficking
Ethnic Uighur Muslim boy stands inside a police van in Khlong Hoi Khong of southern Songkhla province, Thailand. He was in a group of 200 people rescued from a human trafficking camp. VOA

Data collection, digital tools and modern technology are the latest weapons in the fight against human trafficking, estimated to be a $150 billion-a-year global business, according to the International Labor Organization.

The U.N. has set a goal of 2030 for ending forced labor and modern slavery worldwide, with more than 40 million people estimated to be enslaved around the world.

Certain patterns and suspicious activity might trigger a block of a transaction or an investigation into possible forced labor or sex slavery, organizers said.

The project will utilize IBM’s internet cloud services as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning to compare data and to spot specific trafficking terms, said Sophia Tu, director of IBM Corporate Citizenship.

Human Trafficking
The project will utilize IBM’s internet cloud services

With a large volume of high-quality data, the hub one day may predict trafficking before it happens, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“You can’t do it today because we’re in the process of building out that amount of data and those capabilities, but it’s in the road map for what we want to do,” she said.

While law enforcement is teaming up with banks and data specialists to chase trafficking, experts have cautioned that it can be a cat-and-mouse game in which traffickers quickly move on to new tactics to elude capture.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

Also, less than 1 percent of the estimated $1.5 trillion-plus laundered by criminals worldwide each year through the financial system is frozen or confiscated, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

Along with IBM and Western Union, participants include Europol, Europe’s law enforcement agency; telecommunications giant Liberty Global; and British banks Barclays and Lloyds, organizers said. (VOA)

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Use of Information Technology Can Save Police Personnel from Death in Line of Duty

The use of IT by police increases the occupational safety of police officers in the field and reduces deaths and assaults against police officers

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Information Technology
The use of Information Technology to learn more about potential suspects improves the likelihood that police can make an arrest without violence. Pixabay

The use of information technology by law enforcement agencies can significantly cut the number of police personnel killed or injured in the line of duty, reducing violence as much as 50 per cent, says new research.

People haven’t previously known much about the impact of IT on police safety, because relatively few departments used it until recently and there hasn’t been much research on the topic.

“The use of IT by police increases the occupational safety of police officers in the field and reduces deaths and assaults against police officers,” said Paul A. Pavlou, dean of the CT Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.

Pavlou and Min-Seok Pang of Temple University used data from the FBI, the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics and the US Census to build a dataset correlating IT use and reported violence against law enforcement from 4,325 US police departments over a six-year period.

The analysis determined extensive use of IT by the police could cut violence against law enforcement between 42 per cent and 50 per cent — amounting to between six and seven fewer assaults or deaths for an average-sized police department.

For large urban departments serving more than 1 million people, relying on information technology could mean up to 199 fewer assaults or deaths, said the study published in the journal Decision Support Systems.

The dataset focused on the use of information technology in three areas: Crime intelligence, crime prediction and crime investigation.

Information Technology
The use of Information Technology by law enforcement agencies can significantly cut the number of police personnel killed or injured in the line of duty, reducing violence as much as 50 per cent, says new research. Pixabay

The use of IT to learn more about potential suspects improves the likelihood that police can make an arrest without violence, the researchers said.

Discovering that a suspect is likely to be armed, for example, can lead police to don protective gear.

ALSO READ: Use of Robots in the US Increases Tremendously

The finding is also applicable to other types of workplace safety, including those involving factory workers, chemical plant employees, truck drivers and other high-risk occupations. (IANS)