2011/05/20

Facebook to scan for child porn

SAN FRANCISCO, May 19, 2011 (AFP) - Facebook's chief technology
officer said Thursday that the social network will start scanning for
child pornography and images of missing children.

Facebook is teaming up with Microsoft and the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children to use photo "fingerprint" technology
to search for pictures matching those in the US organization's data
base.

"We care deeply" about stopping abuse, Facebook officer Bret Taylor
said while revealing the alliance during testimony at a US Senate
Commerce Committee hearing in Washington on mobile phone and Internet
privacy.

Microsoft PhotoDNA technology used at search engine Bing and online
file storage service SkyDrive will be put to work at the world's
leading social network.

PhotoDNA has already evaluated more than two billion digital pictures
at Microsoft services, finding 1,000 matches on SkyDrive and 1,500
matches through Bing image indexing, according to Microsoft Digital
Crimes Unit associate general counsel Bill Harmon.

"PhotoDNA identified horrific images on our services that we would
have never found otherwise," Harmon said.

With Facebook among the world's largest photo-sharing services, "their
participation in the PhotoDNA program will significantly expand the
program's impact," Harmon added.

Each month Facebook users share more than 30 billion pieces of content
including pictures, news stories, blog posts, and Web links, according
to Microsoft.

"Identifying graphic child pornography in a sea of content like that
is a daunting task, but PhotoDNA is helping to find the proverbial
needle in a haystack," Harmon said.