Three-Prong Smart Phone Approach to Community-Embedded Impact Upon Human Trafficking

Three-Prong Smart Phone Approach to Community-Embedded Impact Upon Human Trafficking

Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 26
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-3926-5.ch015
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The mobile phone has become smarter in the information age, moving into a dystopian ability to support the passive and active prevention of human trafficking. With the rise of social media and the growth of missing and exploited person databases as well as known human trafficker databases, the opportunity to meld the technology into a viable level of immediacy of engagement is timely and transformative in nature. This is especially poignant within societies experiencing ethical fading. Social media offers the opportunity for facial recognition technology to scan images and videos against a database of missing and exploited persons, but a next step three-prong approach highlights in-operating system settings allow access to personal graphics and videos, with users choosing to allow private domain images to run through facial recognition software; in-social media app capability to send “help” communication; and in-mobile app capability to send graphic or video to run against databases.
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The smart phone has become an ubiquitous extension of the personal space and comfort for many citizens throughout the world. Additionally, social media is undergirded by graphics and video sharing, suggesting the natural inclination of the citizenry to snap photos and videos of what is going on in the world around them. With the rise of facial recognition technology, noting availability across common application and increased preciseness, whether the citizenry is aware or currently unaware, the ability to match a human face to a database of faces through which authentication can occur has expanded into a viable medium through which to authenticate different users. A next step approach to facial recognition, towards supporting the prevention and detection of human trafficking, is towards the implementation of facial recognition software when aligned with the database of missing and exploited persons, as well as the database of known human traffickers (Borenstein & Howard, 2021; Cherepanova et al., 2021; Faraj et al., 2021; INTERPOL, 2021, 2022a, 2022b; Kosinski, 2021; Smith & Miller, 2022; U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, n.d.).

Yet what has not thus far been considered, is the ability of citizens to allow access to graphics and videos. These digital products are not only posted online within the public domain, but also impactful is the ability of citizens to allow access to graphics and videos available through their private smart phone accounts, no matter whether housed on their own smart phone or in the cloud. Through a simple setting designation, each citizen may allow the ability to run currently private digital graphics and videos through facial recognition technology, with the intention towards scanning all viewable faces in the graphic and the video against the database of missing and exploited persons as well as the database of known human traffickers. This potential game-changer offers the intention to not necessarily focus upon the primary persons upon which each graphic or video is focused, but more importantly upon the background persons who are captured fortuitously, inadvertently, and unintentionally. As the copyright holder or as the graphic or video was intentionally shared with the smart phone owner, it is within the right of the smart phone owner to choose to allow access to their graphics and videos. With the capability for the citizenry to choose to knowingly allow access to their graphics and videos, the ability to change the situational engagement and ability to improve identification and location of victim or trafficker offers opportunities as well as potential challenges.

An additional consideration, is the recreation of social media apps and mobile operating systems into an ease of access “emergency notification” system wherein any smart phone and any social media app has the integrated modules that allow a user “two click” access. Intended users include potential trafficking targets or potential witnesses to suspected trafficking. The software would allow a user to send an emergency help notification to local legal authorities identified within the application as well as global positioning system (GPS) coordinates of sender’s phone. There is the clear recognition that the concept of emergency features are already integrated into smart phones, but the features are either unknown to the user or unusually located, such locations being dependent upon different operating systems as well as through different providers (Cochran, 2017; Google, 2022; Krstic, 2021; Peckham & Ellis, 2021; Samsung, 2021; Wiggins, 2021). The ability to implement one common cross-platform centrally located simple, and easily accessible “emergency notification” system that is focused upon reporting suspected human trafficking activity could significantly support the progress of efforts within the community environment and by the citizenry.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Technology: Different forms of hardware and software resources that are implemented towards the application of knowledge and useful information.

Video: Digital moving images that normally include visual, audio, and other forms of sensory engagement.

Exploited Persons: This is a description that is meant to reflect exploited, imposed upon, abused, victimized, or targeted persons, with the specific intent to take advantage of someone or to irreparably hurt someone for personal gain.

Digital: Within the bounds of the Information Age, the ability to house enormous amounts of information through electronic means and that supports the ability to offer numeric representations of information that is not only easily stored but that also portable through means of swift styles of sharing of communication, such as through the cabled and wireless Internet.

Ethical Fading: This is the ability of a person or persons to reimagine the reality of experiences and actions, towards attempting to reflect that what a person does is less harmful or that reflects the capability to minimize the capacity of persons to morally disengage from their choices, their actions, and the subsequent outcomes.

Smart Phone: A mobile device that offers the opportunity to not only make telephone audio calls and video conference calls, but also the ability to access the Internet and additional forms of knowledge-laden and productive resources through different mobile software that is installed as applications.

Database: No matter whether housed within a paper product or a digital product environment, this reflects a large set or collection of information that is organized in a manner that is easily accessible for review and retrieval, many times through a search capability.

Graphic: Although this may be a graphical representation of information, this key term is defined within the bounds of this discussion as the visual display of an artistic entity, no matter whether that reflects photography, physical or digital art, or the ability to capture information in a pictorial manner

Facial Recognition: This is a technological terminology within the digital age, that reflects the biometric ability of software technology to recognize facial feature comparison so as to result in running known biometric data against information in a database of structured data and documentation with the specific result being to align a name, background information, and other known knowledge with the facial structure that is presented through an image.

Mobile: Through the means of focus within this discussion, this term represents the ability of different forms of technological resources to easily move with the user in an unencumbered manner. This may include a smart phone, a laptop, a tablet, a smart watch, or innumerable other means that can be implemented towards structuring the ease of use of digital resources.

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