How Technology Aids in Fight Against Corruption and Crackdown of Black Money Worldwide

by November 10, 2016 0 comments

India was recently steered by its risk-friendly PM towards demonetization of two of highest denominations in the Indian currency, the Rs. 500 ad Rs. 1000 bank notes. In a bid to restrict the use of counterfeit currency and hoarding of unaccounted cash, the two categories of notes were banned with immediate effect from Nov 8th, 2016. Under the calling of India Against Corruption, the drastic step was taken by the Indian government to quash the nexus of black money and terrorism.

The internet, especially social media, took a roller coaster ride following this announcement, with more appreciation than resent throughout India. Amidst this, WhatsApp groups also went gaga about new Rs. 2,000 notes having an embedded nano GSP chip and media picked up the news, which later turned out be a hoax. The Reserve Bank of India hasn’t confirmed the presence of an RFID tag, yet.

Advancements like these require significant upgrades in the technology infrastructure, and we hope that India will soon move towards realizing this (not so) sci-fi allusion of some Indians. Further, demonitization guarantees a crackdown on black money only in form of cash, but not the generation of black money in future. An outline of technologies around the globe, that have gained attention in the fight against corruption, is sketched below:

Big Data and Predicted Analysis:

Enormous amounts of data are generated each day, owing to the quantum of online transaction. However, discrete this data can be mapped and integrated for visualization and prediction of trends. This opportunates an increment in automation – thus, frequency and accuracy in massive volumes of data. This analysis fuels effectiveness of Policy and decision making.

Federal Government in Australia set up a Centre of excellence in data analytics under the tax department to trace tax havens, and for data-matching to identify tax evaders. World Bank-financed projects are tracked by satellite imagery, for instance, to ascertain whether a building has been fully constructed based on claims of the country’s government. Real-time fraud analytics can identify designs in recurrent fraud transactions on a real-time basis. Countries are vying towards developing a “World Statistics Cloud” to consolidate global public data.

Forensics Technology:

As cyber fraudsters increasingly use sophisticated technologies, Anomaly detection and Risk-scoring techniques are being employed at large scale to manage compliances, and weed out frauds. Analysis of forensic data allows effective investigations and analyses of root causes. Auditors have ben vouching for Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) to take control of any internal fraud in enterprises.

Apps and Smartphones:

Smartphones leverage access to the internet on a remote basis, and to enhance the visibility and accountability of governments’ endeavours, multiple apps have seen the light of the day. ‘Integrity’ from World Bank, an app which receives 26,000 hits per year, encourages users to report concerns about corruption and fraud, by directly sharing images or information reporting fraud or half-hearted efforts of the government.

Future iterations of the app will furnish the opportunity of using QR Codes to access information on any live project. Delhi’s current government also participated in the regime with its trivial offering called Anti Corruption App. Several platforms have flouted the web which focus on combatting corruption. Mamdawrinch, meaning “We will not bribe” is a Moroccan utility for reporting corruption and sharing information on social media for public viewership. Korupedia.org operates in one of the most corrupt countries in the world, Indonesia, enlisting all corrupt officials, the net worth of illicit money held by them as well as major trial dates.

Data Mining:

Auditing often covers under its umbrella physical assets, but data is often overlooked. Contemporary Multilateral Development Banks use out-of-box software to monitor this data when the governments issue bids and identify patterns of deceit or collusion or corrupt intent in transactions. Software like EMC Big Data Analytics Solutions aids in the identification of projects vulnerable to exploitation or fraud.

Smart Authorities are intelligently mining data to guarantee a corruption-free and transparent ambience of development. eDiscovery solutions are increasingly gaining prominence for amassing and executing time-sensitive actions to tackle corruption and fraudulent activities.

The UN recently suggested creating a “Network of Data Innovation Networks,” inviting experts to synergize efforts for efficient, accountable and ethical network practices. Digitization can be put to thorough use for enhancing transparency and accountability in government or public sector projects. Automation eliminates any human agent in the processes that may generate corruption. But the public is the major contributor of characteristic data and their participation at all levels is vital.

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