New app encourages travelers to snap pics of hotel rooms to aid in fight against human trafficking

Posted at 8:02 AM, Jun 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 14:04:29-04

There's a new way you can help in the fight against human trafficking--and all you need is your smartphone.

A free mobile app called TraffickCam aims to get us snapping photos of our hotel rooms for a good reason.

According to a news release, the app populates a photo database of hotel rooms used by law enforcement to figure out where pictures were taken of victims posed for online advertisements.

Social action organization Exchange Initiative created the app in collaboration with researchers at Washington University.

The organization says in a news release that the database will take the images securely submitted by officials and scan a number of different features - like carpet pattern, furniture, room accessories and more. The tool will then match those features with the photos anonymously uploaded by the public.

They note early testing was successful with the app being 85 percent accurate in identifying the right hotel within the top 20 potential matches.

Right now, the database has 1.5 million photos from more than 145 thousand hotels across the U.S.

The app is available on iOS and Android.