Security is a broad topic that impacts almost every industry and every person in the world today. Although national and local governments traditionally have been responsible for ensuring the security of their citizens, private organizations have stepped up to help protect people from increasingly complex security risks. People move freely around the globe, military-grade weapons are available to more and more people, and digital security—including privacy, online banks, and digital infrastructure—is just as important as physical security.
Exponential technologies are playing an important role in helping protect people who might fall through the cracks, such as stateless refugees, those living in war zones, minorities, or those facing human trafficking or sexual exploitation. Several websites and mobile apps have emerged to serve vulnerable people, who are increasingly likely to have access to the internet through smartphones. For example, Crisis Info Hub provides details about resources, such as laws, legal assistance, and community support, in different languages to refugees. The Jornalero app allows day laborers to rate their employers, log their hours and wages, identify employers who withhold wages, photograph and document workplace violations, and send instant alerts to other workers. The Igarape Institute, led by SU Faculty Robert Muggah, has built several apps for monitoring homicides and crimes in cities and tracking small arms trade and human security issues.
Globally, a number of blockchain initiatives, such as those created by the World Food Programme, the World Bank, Finland, and ID2020, are creating blockchain-based identities for refugees. Without identities, people remain vulnerable without access to their bank accounts, health services, and other government services and are unable to vote or own property. In addition, blockchain can reduce corruption, improve logistics, and ensure safety.
Artiﬁcial intelligence and image recognition applications, such as technologies developed by Thorn, are playing a role in ending sex trafficking by scanning the many images of exploited children online.74 Through pattern recognition, these applications provided law enforcement officials with identiﬁcation of over 10,000 kids as of 2018.
Also, new sensors are helping keep vulnerable groups like women achieve physical safety. For example, Leaf Wearables, winner of the Anu and Naveen Jain XPRIZE on Women’s Safety, is a $40 wearable device that autonomously and inconspicuously triggers an emergency alert to community responders if the wearer is attacked. In addition, citizen scientists such as CeCe Moore, a genetic genealogist, have been pioneering the use of DNA ancestry databases to solve cold cases. While many rapists and murders could previously escape their crimes, these databases now hold enough data for police and citizen scientists to ﬁnd almost anyone, hopefully deterring such crimes in the future.
In addition, Amnesty International and the United Nations Development Programme have spearheaded the use of virtual reality to prevent conﬂict and develop empathy for those living in conﬂict. The UN released “Clouds Over Sidra” at the World Economic Forum in 2015; this movie teleports policymakers and donors into the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan—and helped raise more than $3.8 billion dollars. Amnesty International also launched a successful virtual reality fundraising campaign to transport citizens into war- torn Aleppo, which raised funds and awareness. They noted that individuals who had been attacked in Aleppo began creating their own virtual reality ﬁlms to share with the world about their situation, rather than resorting to retaliatory violence.
Citizen groups can more easily participate in security challenges that governments used to handle, thanks to the falling costs of exponential technologies. For example, the nonproﬁt NSquare is encouraging citizens and startups to develop technologies to make the world safe from nuclear threats. The organization has explored efforts that allow citizens to use their cell phones to help detect radiation, virtual reality experiences to train workers in nuclear facilities, and blockchain applications to better track nuclear weapons and materials.
While exponential technologies are helping improve human security, they can also endanger it. Big data, software, and facial recognition systems can help savetrafficked children, but they can also be used by governments, criminal organizations, or corporations to track individuals, invade privacy, and possibly violate human rights.
https://github.com/google/crisis-info-hub/blob/master/README.md https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jornalero.droid&hl=en_US https://igarape.org.br/en/robert-muggah/ https://www.wired.com/story/refugees-but-on-the-blockchain/
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611529/the-citizen-scientist-who-ﬁnds-killers-from-her-couch/ http://unvr.sdgactioncampaign.org/cloudsoversidra/#.XSke-JNKiYU https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/ﬁrst-use-virtual-reality-fundraising-hit-members-public https://nsquare.org/
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