“Technologies under development by USC computer scientists could help in the fight against underage sex trafficking in the United States,” writes Marc Ballon in a featured story for USC Viterbi about our Technology & Human Trafficking Initiative led by research director Mark Latonero.
Read the complete article at USC Viterbi. (Artwork pictured left by Peter Bollinger.) Below is an excerpt from Ballon’s article:
“An interdisciplinary faculty team at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the Information Sciences Institute of USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering is at the forefront of research to employ technology to combat youth sex traffickers and to help find and free victims. Since 2011, researchers have collaborated on a project to develop software and other tools, including Big Data, to help law enforcement investigate suspected cases of online trafficking activity, particularly those involving underage youth. USC researchers have worked with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Department of State, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, among others.
“It is gratifying to know the Annenberg and Viterbi schools are playing a role in helping victims and survivors of trafficking,” said Latonero, co-principal investigator of the project. “If we can help just one victim, then it’s worth it, but it also has the potential to make a huge difference in one of our society’s greatest human rights issues.”
The various technologies are at different stages of development. However, USC researchers believe anti-trafficking agencies could begin deploying one or more of them within a year.”