How big data is tackling human trafficking

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It is very unfortunate to say but Human Trafficking is the second largest business and very fast growing. To cut to the root of this problem many non-profit organizations have implemented several methods and techniques. However, it is always hard to find out where it is exactly happening. It seems the only way to stop this global problem is to spread awareness to every corner of the world. Big Data is helping a great deal to accomplish this seemingly difficult task!

How is Big Data being helpful?

Technology has literally crept into every corner of the world and Human Trafficking is no big exception. Collecting information from the social media sites or dark web and putting in a format for the data processing is painstakingly difficult. Not just that, there is also data inflow from other sources which add up to this humongous heap of data just sitting to be processed. Once this data seemed impossible to structure but now with powerful Big Data tools and other supporting software and hardware, this can be done with much ease.

Stop the Traffic (STT), a nonprofit organization made its mission to spread awareness on human trafficking globally. It says human trafficking is of many types and they also say that the pace at which this business is growing is alarming. STT, identified many hotspots and routes of this human trafficking network and derived locations from that data. However, STT might not have accomplished the same without the support of data analysts. The team at STT utilized tools from IBM and mapping software like ArcGIS to structure the data obtained from extensive scouring of web pages, social media and other sorts of data dwelling places of web. STT says that in this field obtaining data is extremely challenging since no one really wants to come up and say what is happening in their surroundings. However, through various correspondents and some very extensive research STT has managed to identify the hotspots of this network.

How does it work?

Once the data has been refined and structured the querying will be much faster. This way they can pin point the locality of the mishap and facebook post the details on the data they obtained geo tagged to that location. This will let people know what is happening exactly in their surroundings and take care of themselves and their friends if need be.

The same sort of awareness campaigns was run by project Polaris a Washington DC based organization and My Choices Foundation based in India. Both of them were extremely successful in their stead. These organization or any organization for that matter dealing with data from thousands of sources and data that can save lives must make Big Data as their number one priority. The wonderful technology it is, can save lives in matter of minutes compared to the traditional querying and data structuring techniques which would have taken days to scour the data bases. The problem of human trafficking is not going to stop unless we make sure we use every bit of technology at our hands to make the process smoother and faster.



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