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November 22, 2022

Data protection pilot for human trafficking survivors

Hope for Justice is working on an ambitious technology pilot that could allow anonymised data about the survivors we help to be shared with other organizations that hold data on the same people, all while protecting the actual individuals.

 

In this video, Hope for Justice’s Enrique Restoy and Callum Harvie explain more about the pilot:

 

Full information is in the below press release, courtesy of our partners R3: 

 

LONDON/NEW YORK: Global enterprise technology and services firm R3, today announces it has partnered with the anti-human trafficking non-profit organization, Hope for Justice, to launch the Private Data Exchange (PDEx) pilot program. The pilot application represents the first initiative which allows the sharing of case data between organizations whilst protecting the identities and data of vulnerable participants.

 

It is estimated that 49.6 million people are entrapped in forced labour or human trafficking. This represents the third largest criminal enterprise globally, causing devastation to the most vulnerable members of society.

 

Data is a crucial tool in helping non-profit organizations work to end modern slavery and human trafficking. Many different organizations working on cases of human trafficking and related services have existing pools of data. But, due to the sensitive nature of the underlying data and privacy restrictions, organizations find it challenging to share case data directly with each other. This has resulted in limited collaboration between non-profit organizations, but also statutory agencies such as law enforcement and government institutions, often to the detriment of efficient and effective interventions for victims and aftercare for survivors.

 

The PDEx tackles this problem by harnessing R3’s confidential computing platform Conclave, powered with Intel’s Software Guard Extension (SGX). This privacy preserving technology allows victims’ data to be uploaded via existing case management systems and then securely passed onto the Conclave platform. Once shared by the relevant participants on the platform, participating organizations will be notified through Conclave once a matching of shared case data has been made. This will: 1) Identify humanitarian agencies working in high-risk trafficking domains that hold corroborative records and alert them of any potential matches with a corresponding weighted match scoring system. 2) Promote the creation of real-world collaboration between agencies who have a record match by revealing the relevant communications pathway once the match is confirmed. 3) Aggregate sensitive encrypted data across the entire dataset without ever revealing it, to derive accurate and up-to-date novel insights, supporting a global effort against human trafficking and modern slavery.

 

Alongside the use of a secure matching engine, the application also offers the benefits of encrypted, securely stored data, ensuring that victims’ identities are always kept secure, while its user interface provides users with the ability to submit and review records with alerts for record matches.

 

The partnership will allow Hope for Justice, as well as all participants, to further utilize data in collaboration to prevent exploitation, rescue victims, restore lives and reform society.

 

The launch of the Private Data Exchange pilot represents a landmark moment in harnessing the security and privacy capabilities of confidential computing and will allow Hope for Justice to recruit other organizations working within this space to participate on the exchange.

 

Ivar Wiersma, Head of Conclave for R3, commented: “Human trafficking is a prevalent, yet often overlooked issue globally and is an immense violation of human rights. We’re proud to be teaming up with Hope for Justice to take a stand against modern day slavery and do our part against trafficking. By leveraging Conclave’s confidential computing capabilities, we are able to work with Hope for Justice to encourage collaboration between anti-human trafficking non-profits, which will no doubt expand how we can identify and protect victims of modern slavery. Human trafficking and slavery are complex issues with a global impact and we hope that by utilizing Conclave’s privacy-preserving and data sharing capabilities, we can take a step forwards in tackling the exploitation of human lives.”

 

Tim Nelson, CEO of Hope for Justice, commented: “Human traffickers are exploiting new technology and globalization at a staggering scale and pace. Most trafficking is now facilitated via the internet and other digital technologies that pay little attention to borders or jurisdictions. We cannot lose the technology race against human trafficking. That is why we are so pleased that the Private Data Exchange platform has the potential to revolutionize how the sector collaborates across borders and overcomes issues surrounding data privacy and confidentiality. For the first time, civil society, governments, UN agencies and businesses can truly collaborate to make technology a force that will help to end human trafficking.”

 

For more information, read the Hope for Justice case study.