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
The Bright Initiative is supporting the implementation of the UK’s National Data Strategy (NDS), working with the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) and a range of other partners on projects to help realize the strategy’s social and economic ambitions. In our view, the NDS creates an opportunity for enhanced transparency across the British economy and society, underpinned by a commitment to ethical data usage and skills.
The Bright Initiative’s support for the NDS has included facilitating a discussion between business leaders and the UK’s Minister of State for Media and Data, Rt Hon John Whittingdale, MP. Working with the prestigious Institute for Government think tanks, we have convened meetings of senior public sector data professionals and government officials who are leading the delivery of the NDS.
We are also working directly with the DCMS team that is implementing the NDS, providing industry insight on issues, including data markets and skills needs, as well as providing pro bono data collection services in support of research work. Our CEO, Or Lenchner, has also accepted an invitation to be part of the NDS Forum that the minister is chairing.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Rt Hon Oliver Dowden, MP, has publicly thanked Bright Data for the support we are giving to the NDS.
Partnering with leading regulators
The Bright Initiative 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 the government as the sector regulator and with privacy regulators internationally on Fair Data.
Making the internet a safer place for all
The Bright Initiative has partnered with abuse.ch, a non-profit project fighting malware and botnets, giving founder Roman Hussy access to critical public web data, and enabling him to track bad actors sites. Armed with this crucial information, he then informs the wider security community (researchers, security solutions vendors, and law enforcement teams) for free on abuse.ch’s platform, URLhaus, essentially protecting millions from these threats, and making the internet a safer place for all.
URLhaus is a platform where vetted, trusted security researchers 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.
abuse.ch’s founder, Roman Hussy regularly faced a problem – some bad actors try to block automated requests made by URLhaus since the platform regularly checks whether a site is still malicious; it does so by attempting to connect to the remote site to check their content. Some bad actors are aware of this process and attempt to block those requests. As a result, some malicious websites were not appearing 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
The Bright Initiative has joined forces with the creator of FindAShot.org, an automated COVID-19 vaccine appointment checker system born out of the challenges the founder, David Newell encountered when helping his parents try to find a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. With access to public data, Newell has enabled 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 and inefficient.
That started the process of building an online appointment checker that would check all of the pharmacy websites to see if they, essentially, had vaccine appointment availability. 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.
FindAShot.org uses the Bright Data Web Unlocker, 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 Web Unlocker has helped them get unblocked in situations where they have encountered some of those issues that block the appointment checkers. 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 Unlocker to integrate into the existing checkers.
Facilitating workplace diversity
The Bright Initiative is fueling Mathison’s first-of-its-kind innovative all-in-one system managing 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
The Bright Initiative has partnered with ELEM, an organization founded 34 years ago to protect the fate of youth-at-risk in Israel. The organization works in cooperation with local authorities and government ministries to aid youth in distress, offer support, and raise awareness in the broader community. The Bright Initiative is helping them with one such project, to aid victims of intrafamilial sexual abuse in Israel using a unique machine learning system.
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. 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
The Bright Initiative is supporting Human Trafficking Initiative Labs’ (HTI) project that 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.
Using Bright Data’s technology, thanks to The Bright Initiative, HTI labs are able to collect data from public online ads, and after 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 been an extremely valuable partner in helping us meet our growing demands for online data, as weвЂ™re able to outsource our data collection and management efforts. Without their technology, weвЂ™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 teamвЂ™s ultimate goal of matching underrepresented talent with their dream jobs.
Dave Walsh, Co-founder, and CEO of Mathison
By using Bright DataвЂ™s services, thanks to The Bright Initiative, I can overcome the bad actorsвЂ™ methods and identify and differentiate the bad sites from the good ones. This obviously also helps the community вЂ“ by letting them know about current cyber threats.
Roman Hussy, Founder of abuse.ch
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)
The Bright Initiative by Bright Data has helped us scale our ability to perform automated online data collection (or in our case вЂњcreationвЂќ) 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 DataвЂ™s technology, it would never have been possible.
Smadar Ben Ami, ELEM