Microsoft's PhotoDNA Technology Adopted by Facebook
Article by George Norman
On 27 May 2011
First, the introduction, to make sure that everyone is on board: PhotoDNA is technology developed by Microsoft alongside Dartmouth College, technology that aids in uncovering and removing photos of child sexual exploitation. The PhotoDNA technology was donated by Microsoft to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to help fight the distribution of child-exploitation images. Microsoft implemented PhotoDNA in several of its products, mainly Bing, SkyDrive and Hotmail.

Now its time for the news: Facebook has recently announced that it joined Microsoft in sublicensing the technology for use on its network. Or to put it in other words, Facebook announced the implementation of PhotoDNA technology on its network, thus joining Microsoft and The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in the fight against online child exploitation.

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And now its time for some words from top figures at Microsoft and NCMEC. First up, here is what Microsoft’s Bill Harmon (Associate General Counsel, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit” had to say about Facebook implementing PhotoDNA:

“Facebook’s bold step forward to become the first online service provider to join Microsoft in partnership with NCMEC on the PhotoDNA program sends a strong message: We will not tolerate the use of our services to victimize children in this way when we have the technology to do something about it. We hope that Facebook’s adoption of PhotoDNA serves as a springboard for other online service providers to take advantage of the opportunity available through NCMEC’s PhotoDNA program and, in fact, we know that others are exploring the possibility right now.”

Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said that the fact that Facebook decided to implement PhotoDNA is proof that Facebook is commited to keeping children from being victimized. “I wrote in 2009 that PhotoDNA will revolutionize the work we’re doing in the fight against child pornography, a prediction that is borne out by Facebook’s adoption. But to truly realize that revolution, this technology is needed on many online services – only then will the Internet become a hostile environment for those who would exploit and abuse children,” added Allen.

Tags: Microsoft, PhotoDNA, Facebook, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, NCMEC
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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