Futurity: Upload hotel photos to help fight sex trafficking

Futurity: Upload hotel photos to help fight sex trafficking

During the past decade, law enforcement agencies across the country have confronted the alarming trend of sex trafficking. The crimes often take place in hotel rooms, with perpetrators widely sharing photos of the victims online. Researchers are using science to fight back, developing a high-tech approach to combat the sex trafficking trade. With a nonprofit organization called the Exchange Initiative, researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Engineering & Applied Science have designed a new, web-based application that helps fight sex trafficking by targeting the places where the crimes usually occur. “My lab works to create new ways of

Washington Post: An incredibly simple way your phone may help save sex trafficked children

Washington Post: An incredibly simple way your phone may help save sex trafficked children

by Colby Itkowitz Human traffickers commonly advertise children for sex using explicit pictures taken from inside hotel rooms. These photos are easy to find on the Internet. The challenge for law enforcement is figuring out where the photos were taken. That’s where the general public may now be able to help by taking pictures of their hotel rooms when traveling. The concept is simple. A hotel guest takes photos of the room from as many as four different angles and uploads them through an app. The photos, tagged with their specific location, are then added to a massive database of rooms that

Tech Crunch: You can help stop human trafficking with the TraffickCam app

Tech Crunch: You can help stop human trafficking with the TraffickCam app

By Haje Jan Kamps In a world where the phrase “oh god, not another app” often springs to mind, along with “Yeah, yeah, I’m sure you want to make a world a better place” TraffickCam is a blast of icy-fresh air. TraffickCam is an app developed by the Exchange Initiative, an organization fighting back against sex trafficking. Most victims are recruited between the ages 12-14 — UNICEF The goal of the new app is to build a national database of photos of the insides of hotel rooms to help law enforcement match images posted by sex traffickers to locations, in an effort to map out

Fast Company: You’ve Been Deputized: Help The Police Nab Sex Traffickers

Fast Company: You’ve Been Deputized: Help The Police Nab Sex Traffickers

By Ben Paynter The problem with Internet-based sex trafficking is that police can often see their victims being advertised but not actually locate them in the real world. Instead, they’re left with an image of person trapped in some anonymous hotel room. The result is both devastating and incredibly hard to track. TraffickCam, a free mobile app to fight sex trafficking, aims to nab more flesh peddlers and free captives by enlisting the public to make those hotel rooms more recognizable. Travelers just have to download the app and take a few pictures of where they’re staying after they check in—ideally

India Today: With TraffickCam, fight against trafficking could become easier.

India Today: With TraffickCam, fight against trafficking could become easier.

By Hemul Goel A vacation often leaves our phones full of pictures that have no meaning besides clogging our phone’s already-full memory. However, with TraffickCam, the pictures of your hotel room might be able to help save the life of a victim of sex trafficking. With traffickers posting pictures of their victims in hotel rooms for online advertisements, TraffickCam helps law enforcement track the identity of the hotel the picture has been posted from. All you have to do is download the app–available for iPhone, iPad and Android–and upload four pictures of your hotel room and its number. The internet has only

Huffington Post: You Could Help Save A Trafficking Victim’s Life With Your Hotel Room Pic

Huffington Post: You Could Help Save A Trafficking Victim’s Life With Your Hotel Room Pic

Just snapping a photo of your hotel room the next time you go on vacation could help save a trafficking victim. Human trafficking is the world’s fastest growing crime, and victims who are exploited for sex aren’t just getting victimized in unsuspecting homes and closed off backrooms.   Hotels are optimal spots for traffickers to exploit their victims because they can pay for the rooms in cash and change locations on a nightly basis without being detected. From 2007 to last year, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center and Polaris’s BeFree texting

LIP TV 2: TraffickCam App Takes on Human Trafficking

LIP TV 2: TraffickCam App Takes on Human Trafficking

A new app named TraffickCam is attempting to fight human trafficking with crowdsourced photos of hotel rooms. TraffickCam asks its users to take four photos of the insides of hotel rooms they’re staying in. The goal is to create a national database that will help authorities to identify where images posted online by sex traffickers were taken. We look at the effort to combat human trafficking on the Lip News with Jo Ankier, Elliot Hill and Mark Sovel.

KMOV-TV St. Louis: New app aims to stop human trafficking

KMOV-TV St. Louis: New app aims to stop human trafficking

By Rachel Sudduth Local creators are working towards a way to stop sex trafficking, with a new app called Traffick Cam. Creators of the app say local residents have the opportunity to help stop sex traffickers. KMOV.com Molly Hackett, one of the creators, a conference planner out of Maplewood, says she got the idea for the app because her job position allows her to work in various hotel rooms. Traffick Cam allows app users to upload photos of hotel rooms that may have been used in trafficking cases. It’s an easier way for law enforcement to identify suspects and hopefully

AOL: New app created in St. Louis aims to track down victims of sex trafficking

AOL: New app created in St. Louis aims to track down victims of sex trafficking

By AOL.com You may want to snap pictures of your hotel room when you’re traveling because it’s luxurious or you want to show off to your friends, but there’s a better reason to do so: it may save a child’s life. The TraffickCam app — which is free and available for iPhone, iPad and Android — allows you to upload pictures of your hotel room, where they are then matched to a database used by law enforcement. This can help the police identify where trafficked children are. “You just enter your hotel room, and your room number. You take four pictures, and

St. Louis Post Dispatch: New app aims to track down victims of trafficking

St. Louis Post Dispatch: New app aims to track down victims of trafficking

by Nancy Cambria The TraffickCam app allows users to upload photos of their hotel rooms, like the one at right. A computer program then compares the photos to images of possible sex trafficking victims in hotel rooms to figure out where the photos were taken. New app helps locate sex trafficking in hotels The TraffickCam app lets users upload a photo like this user-submitted picture to a database which uses an algorithm that matches the image to a picture provided by law enforcement in order to find sex trafficking locations. The app is used throughout the United States. Photo courtesy of TraffickCam New app