Tag: mobile technology

Free the Slaves uses mobile technology to spread hope in India

A new pilot outreach program is using the high penetration of phones in the country to reach enslaved people.

Free the Slaves recently launched in India. It is still in its pilot phase, but it is already connecting with people throughout the country. It uses the knowledge that smartphones and mobile technology have reached tremendous penetration among Indian families to spread basic labor rights information.

The goal is to reach out to enslaved people in India and give them hope through readily available tech.

The Free the Slaves (FTS) outreach program pilot tested with Kaarak Enterprise Development Services. It is meant to educate and increase hope in at-risk rural communities. The goal is to connect with villagers who have a heightened vulnerability to debt bondage slavery and human trafficking. As there is typically at least one phone per family, mobile technology has become the natural vehicle for communicating with these people.

Free the Slaves - Hands in chainsThe program pilot comprised four messages written in Bhojpuri. That local language was selected as it is the most common among the people in Uttar Pradesh state. Over a span of 28 days, people in 192 communities were called and sent these messages over mobile technology.

The Free the Slaves messages shared information and awareness about bonded labor slavery and labor rights.

One of the messages said: “You must be paid as much as you deserve and you should be able to understand how payment works.” Another said: “Since the Bonded Labor Act, it is illegal to force someone to work as a slave because of their caste, under threat of violence or without pay.”

The villagers receiving the messages also learned about government rehabilitation and relief programs available to them. They underscored the importance of vigilance among community members. They also promoted the FTS program itself as well as the MSEMVS organization which works with communities to provide slavery resistance. It also offers support for slavery and sex trafficking survivors.

The Free the Slaves messages concluded with a caution about the risks associated with migrating for employment. They provided tips for avoiding traffickers in the first place. The reception to these messages was highly positive and community members welcomed them. Follow-up efforts with focus groups showed that 92 percent of community members learned something new and found the information very helpful to them. Another 79 percent felt the information was applicable to their own situations. Many of the people did not know that bonded labor was illegal in India until they heard the messages.

Hospital mobile security is a considerable tech concern

Medical care facilities have expressed apprehension over risks associated with smartphone cybersecurity.

Hospital mobile security is a concern with increasing priority in medical facilities. The use of mobile technology has made it possible to enjoy many meaningful advantages in hospitals. Nurses can communicate more quickly, care team members – including doctors – can communicate more effectively, care can be more effectively coordinated, and workflows are more efficient.

That said, this platform may be convenient and helpful, but it opens system to cybersecurity risks.

A survey of 100 hospital IT and informatics executives by Spyglass Consulting Group provided insight on this topic. The firm is located in Menlo Park, California and specializes in market research and consultancy. The participants provided a solid representation of the 2,500 hospitals across the United States with over 200 beds. The research looked into hospital mobile security with in-house technology. It examined the level of protection and concern in place. The protection was regarding patient data, the mobile devices themselves and the technology infrastructure of the hospitals.

The research revealed that hospital mobile security is a large concern despite the benefits of the tech.

Hospital Mobile SecurityManaging director and founder of Spyglass, Gregg Malkary, said “Smartphone technology has really taken on a serious role as to how it fits into clinical communication, but every time you integrate systems, there are points where the data is in the clear, and where it is vulnerable.”

The mobile security survey examined the way connected devices such as tablets and smartphones could place a hospital’s IT infrastructure and network at risk of cyberattack. Attacks included: malware, blastware and ransomware. It took into account both devices personally owned by medical practitioners and devices owned and managed by the hospitals themselves.

The survey showed the largest concerns and issues in hospital mobile security. Personally owned devices commonly contained inadequate password protection. Furthermore, they were not satisfactorily protected with security software. They typically relied on SMS messaging that was not secured in order to communicate with other clinic team members. Many of those communications included sharing patient health information. This exposed that information to access by unintended recipients.