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Microsoft product helps combat spread of online child pornography

Microsoft has launched a cloud version of PhotoDNA, a free service to help detect and remove online images depicting sexual abuse against children.

According to a company release, the PhotoDNA service has been around for years, but previously, the tool needed to be loaded directly to a company’s servers and required tech expertise and money to stay current. The new cloud version makes it easier for smaller companies to use the technology by removing these hurdles, enlisting companies in the fight against child pornography.

In its release, Microsoft wrote that of the 1.8 billion images uploaded to the Internet each day, about 720,000 depict child sexual abuse. This makes monitoring online platforms for such uploads a near impossible, daunting task. This makes PhotoDNA and similar technologies – like Google’s child porn detector—a necessity.

PhotoDNA works by taking known photos of child sex abuse from organizations such as the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and converts them into numerical values – the signature or “hash” of the images. With this, PhotoDNA can still identify photos of sexually abused children that have been altered slightly in an attempt to avoid detection by comparing the hash set to millions of images.

Read Forbes’ report here: http://tinyurl.com/nglax7k.

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