Stories

We are privileged to be in a position to aid in vital projects that are having such a huge impact on the world and the people living in it. Below you can read about some of them.

Supporting government ministries

Recently, The Bright Initiative by Bright Data has offered to advise the UK Government on the rolling out and running of its National Data Strategy (NDS). The Bright Initiative by Bright Data submitted a formal response to the NDS consultation and has offered extensive educational support as well as knowledge-sharing.
The Bright Initiative by Bright Data CEO Or Lenchner also participated in the Institute for Government’s Data Bitesevent and shared insights on data ethics. The Bright Initiative by Bright Data continues to meet with leading NDS stakeholders and as an ongoing effort of its support of the UK Government, it will hold a joint NDS-focused event with The Rt Hon John Whittingdale, Minister for Media and Data. In addition, during a separate UK Enterprise Forum event, The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, thanked The Bright Initiative by Bright Data for its support of the NDS and consultation address. In Israel, where more than a million citizens were left without jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Israeli Labor Ministry, together with JDC Tevet, used Bright Data’s automated data collection services, thanks to The Bright Initiative, to support job seekers in getting back to work. The collection of publicly available data allowed the Ministry to quickly and effectively identify current market trends to guide the unemployed.

Partnering with leading regulators

The Bright Initiative by Bright Data has recently teamed up with the Market Research Society (MRS) and has become a member of the MRS’s International Affiliate program. MRS is the leading and most experienced professional research regulator in the world, working with government as the sector regulator and with privacy regulators internationally on Fair Data.

Making the internet a safer place for all

abuse.ch is a non-profit project that fights malware and botnets. One of the platforms that abuse.ch operates is URLhaus, where vetted, trusted security researchers can exchange information on sites that are being used for malware distribution. So far, the project has identified and taken down over 1 million sites that are being used by bad actors to spread malware. IT security researchers, vendors, and law enforcement agencies rely on data from abuse.ch, which tries to make the internet a safer place for all.

abuse.ch’s founder, Roman Hussy regularly faced a problem – some of the bad actors try to block automated requests made by URLhaus since this platform regularly checks whether a site is still malicious; it does so by trying to connect to the remote site to check their content. Some bad actors are aware of this process and attempt to block those requests by URLhaus. As a result, these malicious websites did not appear on its list of potential security threats. They passed as if they were legitimate sites when, in fact, they were clearly not.

abuse.ch uses Bright Data’s platform, as part of The Bright Initiative, to track these bad actors’ sites and provide this valuable data for free to the community so they can protect themselves from threats originating from these websites.

Once a website is identified, abuse.ch immediately publishes the information on the project website where security researchers, security solutions vendors, or law enforcement teams can use this information and take action. This includes legal action as well as using the information to protect their own networks and users from these proven threats. This data is available for free for everyone to use. In fact, it protects millions of users and anyone can access it and download it to protect themselves.

These datasets are used very broadly by open-source tools, for example, and also by DNS service/software providers like Cloudflare or Quad9. Using these datasets in such a way clearly protects and saves millions from cybersecurity threats.

Ensuring the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Americans

FindAShot.org was born out of the challenges the founder, David Newell encountered when helping his parents try to find a COVID-19 vaccine – specifically finding an appointment. Newell has created an automated appointment checker system, enabling all Americans access to, and the ability to book COVID-19 vaccinations with ease and simplicity.
After doing some research into the COVID-19 vaccine appointments system, Newell understood that every pharmacy was going to have a different website for booking appointments. He understood very quickly that this method would become very painful. But, fortunately, knowing all the locations that were going to get shipments, it was simply a matter of going to each pharmacy website to see if they had appointments available. That started the process of building an online appointment checker that would check all of the pharmacy websites to see if they, essentially, had green boxes. Depending on availability, the calendar would have a grey or green box on each day. From there, it was about automating this checking process. After finding appointments for his parents, he realized that other people were going to need help finding appointments over the next several months, and that’s when findashot.org was born – a community service project that would help people find available COVID-19 vaccination appointments at local pharmacies. It started with Albertsons brands (e.g., Tom Thumb, Safeway, Vons, Acme), and then expanded to Kroger and, eventually, Walgreens and CVS. Now, the organization covers 20,000-25,000 locations nationwide. Instead of having to frequently search every single individual pharmacy location to find an available appointment, findashot.org is like a “KAYAK” for COVID-19 vaccine appointments – one streamlined search shows all pharmacy locations that currently have appointments available. In terms of the need for automated online data collection, Newell gave an example from where he was currently sitting – there are more than 80 pharmacy locations within a half-hour drive from his location. Most of them would require checking every individual store, and if you do the math for 80 stores – it takes around 20 seconds to check each one – that means it’s going to take more than 25 minutes just to check the 80 closest pharmacies. Based on what Newell saw in findashot.org’s data, appointments get booked within minutes and sometimes even seconds.  That means in the time it takes to check all the nearest pharmacies, appointments could have become available and then already booked. And that doesn’t include pharmacies that are farther away. FindAShot.org uses the Bright Data Unblocker, thanks to The Bright Initiative. It has helped the project scale its ability to perform automated online data collection. In most cases, the pharmacies put in place preventative measures to stop “bad actors” from accessing the site. Newell talked about nefarious individuals automatically booking appointments and then selling them. The mechanisms pharmacies have in place also block the good traffic like FindAShot.org’s; simply trying to help people find appointments. The Bright Data Unblocker has helped them get unblocked in situations where they have encountered some of those issues that block the appointment checkers. It was very easy to integrate and get it running in about 5-10 minutes. It has also helped reduce the costs of their infrastructure because instead of trying to spin up new appointment checkers somewhere else to get unblocked, they simply switched over and used the Unblocker to integrate into the existing checkers.

Facilitating workplace diversity

Mathison’s first-of-its-kind innovative all-in-one system manages diversity recruiting, strategy measurement, and reporting. The platform centralizes hundreds of inclusive talent networks and uses AI to help employers find candidates for their most important roles. To retain a pool of diverse candidates, Mathison gives employers a single place to manage their diversity hiring activities. 

This includes sourcing diverse candidates; reducing bias in job descriptions; candidate selection and interviews; and mobilizing team members in diversity hiring efforts with tools to build awareness and change behavior. Its clients include companies such as Hello Fresh, TripAdvisor, and Sonos.

 

Providing a safe haven for abused youth

ELEM was founded 34 years ago in order to protect the fate of youth at-risk in Israel. Since its establishment, ELEM, in cooperation with local authorities and government ministries, has developed unique programs to aid youth in distress, offer support, and raise awareness in the broader community.  

One such project is to aid victims of intrafamilial sexual abuse in Israel.

Intrafamilial sexual abuse is a growing concern worldwide. In Israel, one in seven teenagers experiences its harrowing effects. Similar to other forms of abuse, it’s often left unreported, and teenagers are forced to deal with the traumatic effects alone. The Bright Initiative partnered with Elem, an organization dedicated to protecting youth in distress, to address this growing problem. Elem discovered that abused youth often leave digital footprints in order to be traced, yet they were challenged in implementing a system to track them efficiently.

Elem is now developing a machine learning system, trained with social media profiles of previously abused youth. Using Bright Data’s technology, thanks to The Bright Initiative, they’re able to collect massive amounts of public, openly available social media data to feed the system, which then detects profiles with similar characteristics. From there, the organization will reach out to the suspected abused individuals, and offer help and support in finding them alternative housing solutions and rehabilitation programs.

Fighting human trafficking

Human Trafficking Initiative Labs’ (HTI) project aims to fight human trafficking in the commercial sex industry. The project evolved out of the need to deal with the lack of data on trafficking and ultimately led to its novel approach of using online commercial sex advertisements, data science, and network analysis to identify potential trafficking networks within the commercial sex industry.
Online ads provide visibility for some of the population that would otherwise be more hidden, and after collecting it, and making connections from the data, it’s able to predict trafficking risk and push the high-risk leads to its law enforcement partners. HTI Labs started as a university project in 2015 at Creighton University in Ohama, Nebraska, and spun off as an independent organization in 2018.

The Bright Initiative by Bright Data has become an MRS International Affiliate. Huge thanks for your commitment to our ethical code!

Jane Frost - CBE - CEO of Market Research Society (MRS)

By using Bright Data’s services, thanks to The Bright Initiative, I can overcome the bad actors’ methods and identify and differentiate the bad sites from the good ones. This obviously also helps the community – by letting them know about current cyber threats.

Roman Hussy, Founder of abuse.ch

The Bright Initiative by Bright Data has been an extremely valuable partner in helping us meet our growing demands for online data, as we’re able to outsource our data collection and management efforts. Without their technology, we’d be forced to build and maintain datasets manually every time we partner with a new company, which would take time and resources away from our team’s ultimate goal of matching underrepresented talent with their dream jobs.

Dave Walsh, Co-founder, and CEO of Mathison

The Bright Initiative by Bright Data has helped us scale our ability to perform automated online data collection (or in our case “creation”) for our automated COVID-19 vaccine appointment checker.

David Newell, Founder of FindAShot.org

With cases of sexual abuse by family members increasing, we desperately wanted to help the growing number of victims in any way we could, and aid them back into rehabilitation. In order to do this, we need access to massive amounts of public online data to feed our machine learning system, currently in development. Without The Bright Initiative, and Bright Data’s technology, it would never have been possible.

Smadar Ben Ami, ELEM

Interested in partnering with us? We’d love to hear from you!