There are only nine member countries currently participating in the Interpol ballistic-forensics database effort but the company hopes that more join. “The more data gets in it, the more power it’s going to have,” says Boyle.
Child exploitation. Human trafficking and child exploitation are other issues on which Interpol receives assistance from the private sector. In a recent operation targeting the use of social networking sites in crimes against children, several children were identified and removed from harm’s way. Interpol cited cooperation from Facebook officials for assistance in the case.
“The investigation was conducted with the support and assistance of Facebook officials, following the identification [by Interpol] of key targets and their associated groups within their network,” said Interpol in a release. “In some of the cases involved with this particular operation, Facebook had, in fact, already reported the individuals to law enforcement authorities,” a Facebook spokesperson told Security Management.
Though the private sector can be essential to Interpol, the partnerships are not entered into lightly, says Viedma. She says that there is an intense due-diligence process that Interpol goes through before signing an agreement with a company or group. The company must meet certain standards with regard to morality, reputation, and capability.
Viedma adds that it is also important not to create an unfair advantage in an industry for one company over another. Therefore, Interpol will not work exclusively with any private company. There will always be an open door for another company in the same industry to approach the organization. For example, Viedma says, instead of forcing all of its members to work with a certain company so that they can access DNA information, Interpol has its own tools, such as the DNA Gateway, that its members can use to access its DNA database.