In a former life, I used to lead risk and fraud detection for a major credit card provider. One day, I asked my boss a simple question: “Where does the money that gets stolen actually go? Who is taking it and what are they using it for?”
When I started investigating, I realized that our loss was much darker than just data and money. These stolen funds were paying for the most abominable crimes on our planet — narcotics, human trafficking, terrorism and perhaps most disturbing, child exploitation. When I got involved with non-profit organizations, I saw the full extent of these horrific crimes.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has said that from 2004 to 2015, the number of child sexual abuse images they have reviewed has jumped from 450,000 to 25 million. Technology and the internet play a major role in enabling these crimes — but could play an even bigger one in discovering, deterring and ultimately demolishing these acts.