People concerned about privacy often try to be “careful” online. They stay off social media, or if they’re on it, they post cautiously.They don’t share information about their religious beliefs, personal life, health status, or political views. By doing so, they think they are protecting their privacy.But they are wrong. Because of technological advances and the sheer amount of data now available about billions of other people, discretion no longer suffices to protect your privacy. Computer algorithms and network analyses can now infer, with a sufficiently high degree of accuracy, a wide range of things about you that you may have never disclosed, including your moods, your political beliefs, your sexual orientation, and your health.There is no longer such a thing as individually “opting out” of our privacy-compromised world. The basic idea of data inference is not new. Magazine subscriber lists have long been purchased by retailers, charities, and … [Read more...] about Think you’re discreet online? Think again
What prostitutes think of their clients
Every evening, Melphia leaves a place locals refer to as "hell on earth" and goes somewhere even worse. To a hotel room where the curtains are always drawn. Melphia is 13 years old. She lives in a slum in Kumasi, the second-largest city in Ghana. And for the past three years, she has worked as a child prostitute. Melphia has sex with up to five men per night: workers, businessmen, police officers -- and increasingly, tourists. She doesn't even know the names of most of her clients. What she does know is that "obronis," white men, pay more than Ghanaians. "Without the foreigners, child prostitution wouldn't be nearly as lucrative," says Martin Opoku Sekyere, who works as a volunteer to combat child prostitution in Kumasi. For the past two years, the economy in the West African country has been growing more quickly again and things in Ghana have noticeably improved. This also means more people are coming into the country, such as Chinese investors and European tourists. And along with … [Read more...] about Hell on Earth: The Horrors of Child Prostitution in Ghana
Last April, Samira Ahmad* kissed her baby goodbye and boarded a bus, leaving her home in Morocco for the strawberry fields of southern Spain.In her bag was her Spanish visa and a contract that promised €40 a day plus food and accommodation. In the three months she’d be away, she hoped the pain of being separated from her family would be softened by the money she’d be sending back to them – a fortune compared to what she’d be able to earn at home. A year on, and Ahmad’s life is in ruins. She is destitute, divorced and for the past 10 months has been living in hiding, surviving on handouts with nine other Moroccan women who – like her – claim they faced human trafficking, sexual assault and exploitation on the farm where they were hired to work. She says her biggest mistake – other than coming to Spain – was going to the authorities. “Before I left my home I was like a hero to everyone. Nobody in my village had ever had … [Read more...] about Rape and abuse: the price of a job in Spain’s strawberry industry?
More than 40,000 people have called for a prostitution ban in the Netherlands - despite significant objection from sex workers in the country. For almost two decades, prostitution in the Netherlands has been legal and as a result, the capital Amsterdam has become a hub of international sex tourism. Known for its famous red light district, the city has around 700 employed prostitutes working every day. But the law could change after a social media-led campaign, called "I am priceless", hit more than 42,000 signatures this week. This means the petition will have to be debated in the Dutch parliament. The campaign, set up by Exxpose, a Christian inspired and politically independent youth movement, aims to make paying for sex a punishable offense. The current law in the Netherlands Since 2000, brothels, pimping and prostitution has been legal. According to Sex Work Europe, decriminalising prostitution significantly helped in regulating the sex industry under administrative and labour … [Read more...] about Netherlands to consider total ban on prostitution after thousands sign petition
Milan, Prato, Rome and Venice, Italy - Wearing a knee-length winter coat, Xiaoyan* waits for her next client near the main train station in Venice. Clinging to her bag, she looks like any other bundled-up passer-by in the evening cold. But the 45-year-old Chinese woman from the Zhejiang province, on the country's eastern coast, has been working as a prostitute for the past three years. She arrived in Italy in 2007 and, like many of her compatriots, initially found work in small clothes and footwear businesses. With an estimated 300,000 Chinese nationals, Italy hosts the largest diaspora community in the European Union. Xiaoyan is gaunt but has a delicate appearance, with shoulder-length black hair and a short fringe. She lived in Civitanova Marche, a central city, before heading north. "I used to work in small Chinese-run footwear enterprises, making around 1,000 euros ($1,123) a month," she said, her voice barely above a whisper. "Shifts were non-stop. I hardly slept. When … [Read more...] about Exploited at every turn: The lives of Italy’s Chinese prostitutes