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Google Fights Human Trafficking Using Big Data

James Dohnert
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Big data Google has donated $3 million to three firms that are using big data to aide in the fight against human trafficking.

The search giant announced the launch of the Google Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network at event in Washington, D.C. Google's project will bring together a variety of human trafficking hotlines to create a consolidated base of data that will be able to identify trafficking hotspots around the world.

Google will fund the project with three advocacy groups. The Polaris Project, Liberty Asia, and La Strada International will begin to work together by sharing data from their human trafficking hotlines.

The collective will share data with the aim of creating stronger prevention strategies and work to identify which countries are currently witnessing the largest cases of abductions.

"Together, these partners will not only be able to help more trafficking survivors, but will also move the global conversation forward by dramatically increasing the amount of useful data being shared," wrote director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen and director of Google Giving Jacquelline Fuller in a blog post.

"Appropriate data can tell the anti-trafficking community which campaigns are most effective at reducing slavery, what sectors are undergoing global spikes in slavery, or if the reduction of slavery in one country coincides with an increase right across the border."

The Polaris Project has collected over 72,000 hotline calls in the U.S. alone. Polaris Hotline's data has aided local and global authorities in creating better strategies to combat human trafficking.

Polaris has already begun to work with tech firms like Salesforce to expand its infrastructure. Salesforce recently helped Polaris scale its hotline operations globally.

Google reports that human trafficking leads to over 21 million people being enslaved each year. Traffickers are reported to earn as much as $32 billion a year through their illicit practices.

The search giant, which last year came under fire for human trafficking ads, has been fighting against human trafficking for the past three years. Following its $3 million donation to the hotline network, Google will have invested over $14 million in efforts to end the human trafficking trade.

This article was originally published on V3.


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