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PhotoDNA Technology Scans For Child Porn On Facebook

May 20, 2011

Facebook has teamed up with Microsoft and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to fight child pornography and find missing children, according to social network’s chief technology officer Bret Taylor.

Taylor revealed the alliance during his testimony at a U.S. Senate Commerce Committee hearing in Washington on mobile phone and Internet privacy. He says, “We care deeply” about stopping abuse.

A photo “fingerprint” technology created by Microsoft called PhotoDNA will be used to scan the world’s leading social network site. The technology is currently being used at the search engine Bing and SkyDrive, an online file storage service, reports the AFP.

More than two billion digital pictures have been evaluated by PhotoDNA at Microsoft services. The SkyDrive scan resulted in 1,000 matches, and Bing found 1,500 matches through its image index, according to Bill Harmon, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit associate general counsel.

Harmon says, “PhotoDNA identified horrific images on our services that we would have never found otherwise.”

According to Microsoft, Facebook users share more than 30 billion pieces of content that includes pictures, news stories, blog posts and Web links each month, making Facebook one of the world’s largest photo-sharing services.

“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 says.

He says that Facebook’s “participation in the PhotoDNA program will significantly expand the program’s impact.”

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