The Easter bombings in Sri Lanka last month reminded all of us that the world can be a pretty scary place. And of course, it’s not just senseless ideological violence in Colombo, San Diego and Christchurch that are cause for worry. Hardly a week goes by that we don’t learn of a major case of cybercrime, human slavery or other threat to social stability. As adults, parents and citizens, we have cause for concern. For instance, in last year’s Unisys Security Index™ survey of consumer security concerns in 13 countries, hackers and identity thieves were the cause for our sleepless nights. It is easy to feel that this world we share is spinning out of control, and that there is nothing we can do about it.
But amidst all of the bad news, there is hope. More than hope—there are very good, concrete, objective reasons to feel optimistic about the future, and about the human condition. Violence and conflict are continuing centuries-old declines as economics, education, and government improve worldwide. Global life expectancy is rising by more than 2.5 years per decade as healthcare and nutrition improve, and the relative number of deaths from cancer and HIV are experiencing double-digit retreats per generation.
In most of the ways that matter, humans have actually never lived in a more peaceful, healthy, safe and prosperous era. A lot of that has to do with the technological renaissance of the past 30 years. With technology, we now have the means to ameliorate many of the threats to peace on Earth.
A great example is Unisys LineSight® – a risk-assessment solution that is capable of comparing potential threat actors as they cross borders. When combined with Unisys Stealth(identity)™ biometrics solution, border protection agencies can cross-reference entrants against intelligence from multiple international policing organizations according to fingerprint, iris scan, and even voice signature, in very close to real-time. That means would-be attackers can be recognized and stopped from crossing a border (or, potentially, from entering a church, school or other facility). This happens in mere seconds, while movement for the rest of us remains safe and easy.
Biometrics and blockchain technology are also used to combat modern maritime slavery. An entire industry exists of forced labor on cargo ships, with unpaid seafarers being shuttled from vessel to vessel in international waters, where they cannot be policed. With Stealth(identity), the bio-signatures of all aboard are recognized, and the ships denied entry to port when there are indications of human slavery. By undercutting the economic incentives to this nefarious practice, Stealth(identity)™ helps to break the vicious cycle of human trafficking, without the need for complex long-term investigation or dangerous physical intervention.
We’re just getting started. Tools like biometrics and blockchain are in their nascent era. Use of tech as a tool to ensure public safety, health and human rights is just beginning to develop in the commercial sector. As we learn more about how to leverage technology, new solutions for all of the world’s problems begin to emerge. At Unisys alone, we are helping to deliver secure identity services for nations; to safeguard the well-being and dignity of children at risk; and to respond quickly and effectively to crime, emergency, disasters and more.
On June 12, we will announce the 2019 Unisys Security Index results. The index will examine major security concerns in four major categories – national security, financial security, Internet security and personal security. Through the findings, we will have strong insight into consumers’ security concerns, giving us a foundation to focus on how to best address cybercrimes targeting the identities, money and private data of people around the world – through Unisys Security Solutions.
For a lot of people, new technology seems scary, and the problems we face seem insurmountable. But I have faith in humankind. We will make mistakes and we will encounter new problems. But then we will adjust, learn how to use technology to control our own destiny, and to continue to make the world a better place. In the wake of recent events, and I am both excited and proud to work in an organization that is so committed to doing just that.