Trinity Mount Ministries

Showing posts with label Tracking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tracking. Show all posts

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The need for better tracking of unaccompanied migrant children in the EU:

On the 24th of June, Missing Children Europe participated at the hearing “Putting migrant children’s rights at the heart of EU migration policies”, organised by MEP Caterina Chinnici and MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, co-chairs of the European Parliament Intergroup on children rights. The aim of the event was to discuss current challenges related to the situation of migrant children within and outside the European Union together with MEP Roberta Metsola and MEP Cecile Kyenge, the co-rapporteurs on the issue in the Mediterranean.

Missing Children Europe was given the opportunity to present the issue of missing unaccompanied migrant children who disappear after reaching the EU, together with UNICEF, Save the Children and PICUM. Federica Toscano, focal point on missing unaccompanied migrant children for Missing Children Europe, gave a speech presenting data and recommendations in relation to the issue of the disappearance of unaccompanied migrant children. Find her contribution below:


Every year, thousands of children arrive unaccompanied in the EU through the Mediterranean and other routes. Some are intentionally separated from their families by traffickers or smugglers that will later try to profit from their high level of vulnerability. In 2014, the number of unaccompanied children who applied for asylum almost doubled compared to the previous year, reaching 23,000. 2,240 of them were aged less than 14 years old, which has also doubled since last year. However, not all unaccompanied children are asylum seekers, and inconsistent data management prevents us from knowing the full extent of the presence of unaccompanied children in the EU.

What we do know, is that estimates suggest that up to 50% of unaccompanied migrant children vanish yearly from reception centers in Belgium, France, Spain and Switzerland. We know that in Italy 3.707 registered unaccompanied migrant children went missing in 2014, and many more before registration. We also know that the situation is not better in the so-called “destination countries”: In the UK, 60% of the unaccompanied children accommodated in social care centers  in 2010 were estimated to have gone missing and were not found again according to the British Asylum Screening Unit. In Sweden, 374 children disappeared last year and only 59 have been tracked down.

Notwithstanding these very worrying numbers, the Commission study Missing children in the European Union[1] tells us that in 2013 only about 5000 cases were actually reported, which demonstrates a huge problem of underreporting.  The same study reveals that in some countries missing unaccompanied migrant children receive a lower priority than other missing children cases and that there is a fixed ‘no action’ period before the start of local police investigations. Only four EU countries appear to have legal or procedural regulations on missing migrant children. This is against the basic principle that Member States should uphold the rights of every child irrespectively of the migration status, especially because of the additional levels of vulnerability of these children.

Although the high numbers of missing unaccompanied migrant children has been a worrying issue for many years, until today no efficient operational strategy has been developed to tackle the problem. This is why we believe it is important to include this issue in your report. The added value that a coordinated activity of European institutions can bring to respond efficiently to these disappearances is undeniable.

Missing Children Europe and its partners are currently analysing the preliminary results of the SUMMIT project, an EU co-funded project that looks into interagency cooperation in the prevention and response to the disappearance of unaccompanied migrant children. The disappearance of a child is always the result of a failed system of protection, and any effective response must therefore take this broader context as well as the multiplicity of actors into account Preliminary results inform us that too little efforts are made by authorities to trace unaccompanied children on the move, to ensure their safety and the continuity of their protection. The lack of a common approach and methodology to the identification of the child is also an obstacle to efficient cooperation. There is a clear need to enhance coordination at European level in operational terms but also in relation to information storage and sharing, from the moment when children arrive in Europe. This is where EU Institutions can play an important role.

Better tracking of unaccompanied children on the move is important for two more reasons. First, to better allocate resources invested in reception, namely to avoid duplication of medical examinations, age assessments, vulnerability assessments, personal interviews etc., which are often also traumatic experiences for children.

Secondly, to achieve better results in the fight against trafficking and smuggling networks within the European Union. Improved coordination will reveal how and where organised crime cells work in different countries, contributing to weakening and hopefully dismantling these networks.

It is important to acknowledge that in the Agenda on Migration, the Commission announced the very important decision to develop “a comprehensive strategy to follow up on the Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors to cover missing and unaccompanied children”. It is very important that all EU institutions work together to make sure that this strategy is developed without delay to protect the rights of these and other categories of migrant children. In our opinion, this strategy should prioritise operational developments to improve the assessment of the needs of unaccompanied migrant children at risk of going missing, as well as cross border cooperation in cases of disappearances. 

We remain available for further discussion and cooperation on this matter.


Trinity Mount Ministries Website

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Is Facebook Tracking Everywhere You Go Online?

Logging out doesn't seem to help, says one writer:
by Josh Wolford | September 26, 2011 @ 4:06pm

Is it possible that Facebook is tracking your web browsing activity, even when you are logged out?

According to Australian hacker and writer Nik Cubrilovic, Facebook could know that you are reading this article, simply because we, like most sites nowadays, have a Facebook share button.

Cubrilovic ran a little test involving cookies and found that logging out of Facebook does not mean that Facebook can’t still know every page you visit on the same browser.

Is it possible to be both private and social? Is privacy a long lost cause because of social networking like Facebook? Let us know what you think.

On his blog post on Sunday, he shows what cookies are sent during a logged-in Facebook user’s visit to compared to a logged-out user’s visit to Logging out is apparently supposed to prompt the deletion of certain identifiers, but that doesn’t happen, says Cubrilovic.

    The primary cookies that identify me as a user are still there (act is my account number), even though I am looking at a logged out page. Logged out requests still send nine different cookies, including the most important cookies that identify you as a user

    This is not what ‘logout’ is supposed to mean – Facebook are only altering the state of the cookies instead of removing all of them when a user logs out.

This means that whenever you visit a page online that has a Facebook share button, like button or any other related widget, all of this pertinent information is being sent to Facebook. That’s how they can know where you are going on the web.

This shouldn’t be news to anyone. It’s right there in the Facebook Privacy terms -

    We receive data whenever you visit a game, application, or website that uses Facebook Platform or visit a site with a Facebook feature (such as a social plugin). This may include the date and time you visit the site; the web address, or URL, you’re on; technical information about the IP address, browser and the operating system you use; and, if you are logged in to Facebook, your User ID.

But the revelation here is that this information is available even when you are logged out, as the cookie experiment notes. And people might wonder what all of this data does for Facebook -

    The advice is to log out of Facebook. But logging out of Facebook only de-authorizes your browser from the web application, a number of cookies (including your account number) are still sent along to all requests to Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions.

Apparently, Cubrilovic has been sitting on this information for a while, and has reached out to Facebook without any substantial response. He says that he was prompted to share this information due to the renewed privacy discussions happening across the internet regarding all of Facebook’s upcoming Open Graph changes and “frictionless sharing.”

That “frictionless sharing” phrase is one that Mark Zuckerberg used quite a bit in his f8 keynote. He explained that it meant users can share their activities across the web to Facebook without having to really think about it. The melding of Facebook and everything else, per say.

Some have privacy concerns, fearing that since applications will be allowed to post things to Facebook regarding your actions without explicit opt-in authorization, users might share stuff on Facebook that they really don’t want to share.

ZDNet has obtained a response from Facebook. They explicitly state that Facebook does not track users’ web activity. They also explain the purpose of logged out cookies -

    Facebook does not track users across the web. Instead, we use cookies on social plugins to personalize content (e.g. Show you what your friends liked), to help maintain and improve what we do (e.g. Measure click-through rate), or for safety and security (e.g. Keeping underage kids from trying to signup with a different age). No information we receive when you see a social plugins is used to target ads, we delete or anonymize this information within 90 days, and we never sell your information.

    Specific to logged out cookies, they are used for safety and protection, including identifying spammers and phishers, detecting when somebody unauthorized is trying to access your account, helping you get back into your account if you get hacked, disabling registration for a under-age users who try to re-register with a different birthdate, powering account security features such as 2nd factor login approvals and notification, and identifying shared computers to discourage the use of ‘keep me logged in’.

Facebook has responded in an additional way as well. As of today, the so called “a_user” cookie, the one which contains the user’s ID, is now destroyed upon logging out. Facebook said that “there is a bug where a_user was not cleared on logout, we will be fixing that today.”

Cubrilovic has updated his blog to discuss this change. He still warns about privacy, saying that the remaining post-logout cookies will still be there, and as a Facebook user, you just have to trust that they are using them for what they say they are using them for (see above).

    Facebook has changed as much as they can change with the logout issue. They want to retain the ability to track browsers after logout for safety and spam purposes, and they want to be able to log page requests for performance reasons etc. I would still recommend that users clear cookies or use a separate browser, though. I believe Facebook when they describe what these cookies are used for, but that is not a reason to be complacent on privacy issues and to take initiative in remaining safe.

In a nutshell, Facebook still has access to information about you when you logout. They give their specific reasons for keeping specific cookies active – mainly security and protection. I guess it’s up to Facebook users to decide if this explanation is understandable, or if measures like Cubrilovic suggests need to be taken – specifically wiping all cookies or using different browsers.

Privacy concerns and Facebook are the peanut butter and jelly of the social networking world, but it sure doesn’t seem to be hurting business.

What do you think? Is Facebook’s explanation satisfactory? Do you worry about your privacy as a Facebook user? Let us know in the comments.

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