Solution Brief: Confidential Computing and the Fight to End Modern Slavery

Technology for Justice Confidential Computing and the Fight to End Modern Slavery A Human Rights Tragedy of the 21st Century In today’s modern world, most people see slavery as a historical phenomenon. While the media occasionally covers stories about victims, we tend to think of slavery and human trafficking as tragedies whose time has passed. Not so. Most people today would be shocked to know that there are more than 50 million human beings trapped in slavery today, more than at any point in history.¹ Slavery in the 21st century is a crime that takes many forms, including sexual exploitation (primarily of women and children), forced labor, domestic servitude, criminal exploitation, organ harvesting, and forced marriage. It also includes human trafficking and smuggling, which often involves recruiting individuals through threats, force, fraud, coercion, or deception on the part of criminals in positions of power. Standing in opposition to these crimes are groups such as Hope for Justice, a non- governmental organization working to end modern slavery and human trafficking and protect the rights of victims and survivors. Founded in 2008, Hope for Justice works to prevent human trafficking; to investigate and identify cases and accompany survivors as they claim their rights to justice, protection, and redress; and to partner with survivors’ and other civil society organizations, companies, and governments to address the root causes of people’s vulnerability to modern slavery. Data as a Tool for Justice In combating modern slavery, data plays a role that is hard to overstate. Imitating legitimate businesses, criminal organizations that profit from human exploitation are skilled at using data and technology to advance their efforts. In response, institutions and organizations like Hope for Justice are looking to harness technology and data to close the technology gap, utilizing it as a tool for good. Globally, organizations working on cases of human trafficking have collected large pools of valuable data on both victims of slavery and perpetrators, as well as contextual information relating to emerging patterns and trends. Victim data is incredibly sensitive and invariably includes personally identifiable information, while data on perpetrators may include the financial flows and organizational structures of criminal enterprises. All of this data is crucial information towards effective investigation and mitigation. However, if this sensitive data is leaked via mismanagement, rogue actors, or cyber threats, it can result in dire consequences for victims, compromise investigations, and hinder prosecutions. As a result, the safest approach for each organization has been to keep all information private, with little or no data exposed to any other actor. However, these relatively strict data practices can also slow or hinder effective investigations and interventions, especially where there are concerns for the safety of an individual. To date, anti-trafficking forces have lacked the tools to overcome the fears around data privacy and securely share data to extract information crucial to the fight for human dignity. Solution Brief | Technology for Justice Confidential Computing Intel and R3 enabled Hope for Justice to take advantage of Confidential Computing—a technology that enables sensitive data to be processed confidentially, out of view from unauthorized software or system administrators. Confidential Computing enables encrypted data to be processed in memory while lowering the risk of exposing it to the rest of the system, thereby reducing the likelihood that sensitive