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TrustStamp biometric human trafficking detection system to be piloted in U.S. and Mexico


TrustStamp and The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) Alliance Partnership have announced the introduction of a proof of concept model to ease data sharing between law enforcement agencies to fight human trafficking without breaching personally identifiable information (PII) standards. The proof of concept will be piloted by the Attorneys General of New Mexico and Guanajuato, Mexico, with the goal of both helping human trafficking victims and resolving human trafficking cases faster.

The proof of concept model uses TrustStamps’s facial matching and hashing systems, along with images uploaded by the families of human trafficking victims, and notifies investigators of matches without sharing PII. The system’s development was first announced in June.

The requirement of receiving a warrant before sharing any information has often caused delays in human trafficking investigations, and TrustStamp’s technological solution resolves a longstanding barrier to intra-jurisdictional data sharing by law enforcement, according to the announcement. Transmitting only the biometric hash preserves data security protocols, while avoiding the sharing of any personal information.

“TrustStamp’s technology ensures law enforcement, prosecutors, and victims that data sharing will remain confidential while allowing information to be obtained in accordance with the law,” said CWAG Executive Director Karen White. “We are committed to providing resources to our state Attorney General’s offices that will support investigations and prosecutions.”

The CWAG and TrustStamp hope to roll out the technology to other state Attorneys General in the future.

“By virtue of the hash, we have resolved two key issues,” said TrustStamp Co-founder Andrew Gowasack. “First, data sharing between jurisdictions—states or countries—has traditionally been limited due to issues relating to privacy. The hash allows information to be shared without disclosure of private information until such time there is a match between numeric hashes, at that time, protocols relating to subpoenas are initiated and identities can be legally identified.”

“The second issue is the ability for private companies to effectively secure confidential information from hackers and other criminal elements. This new wave technology takes data security to a new level. We envision the day where users of this technology no longer have to live with the notion of determining when a data breach will occur as an inevitable event. The threat no longer exists.”

Gowasack said at the recent Real Estate Innovation and Investment Summit in San Francisco that the technology can be useful beyond law enforcement for any company dealing with secured confidential data.

TrustStamp’s patented “evergreen” encrypted biometric hash, which can be based on a server or Blockchain, is created by extracting measurements from a photo or video, and can evolve to include other biometric factors or data points. This hashing process enables law enforcement to compare each new biometric hash with every other hash they have ever seen, the company says.

TrustStamp also plans to enroll staff in the Attorney General’s office in each U.S. state in a biometrically encrypted communications system, which only decrypts messages with an authorized user’s live facial biometrics.

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