PhotoDNA

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PhotoDNA is a technology developed by Microsoft and improved by Hany Farid of Dartmouth College that computes hash values of images, video and audio files to identify alike images.[1] PhotoDNA is primarily used in the prevention of child pornography, and works by computing a unique hash that represents the image. This hash is computed such that it is resistant to alterations in the image, including resizing and minor color alterations.[1] It works by converting the image to black and white, re-sizing it, breaking it into a grid, and looking at intensity gradients or edges.[2]

It is used with Microsoft's own services Bing and OneDrive,[3] as well as by Google Gmail, Twitter,[4] Facebook [5] and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children,[6] to whom Microsoft donated the technology.

Microsoft donated the PhotoDNA technology to Project Vic, managed and supported by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (ICMEC). Project Vic is an image and video hash-sharing initiative that streamlines investigative workflows and narrows the focus of child pornography law enforcement investigations by filtering the material investigators find on offenders’ computers.[7][8][9][10] Project Vic uses the technology to create a "fingerprint" that can be used to uniquely identify an individual photo.[7][10][11] Using robust hash sets, the technology allows law enforcement to determine which images retrieved have already been identified, and are part of the Project's database of millions of digital hashes of child porn, enabling detectives to focus on those that are new children waiting to be located and recovered.[9][12] The technology also assists online service providers, by helping them detect child sexual abuse images shared on their sites, and block their continued dissemination.[11][13][14]

In December 2014, Microsoft also made PhotoDNA available to qualified organizations as a free cloud service through the Azure Marketplace.[15]

In late 2015, Farid completed improvements to the software which now make it capable of analyzing video and audio files besides still images. In 2016, Hany Farid proposed that the technology could be used to stem the spread of terror-related imagery, but there was little interest shown initially by social media companies.[16] In December 2016, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft announced plans to use PhotoDNA to tackle extremist content such as terrorist recruitment videos or violent terrorist imagery.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "New Technology Fights Child Porn by Tracking Its "PhotoDNA"". Microsoft.com. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved September 9, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Photo DNA: Step by step". Microsoft. Retrieved February 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/unfortunate-truths-about-child-pornography-and-the-internet-feature/
  4. ^ Arthur, Charles (July 22, 2013). "Twitter to introduce PhotoDNA system to block child abuse images". The Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  5. ^ Smith, Catharine (May 2, 2011). "Facebook Adopts Microsoft PhotoDNA To Remove Child Pornography". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  6. ^ Salcito, Anthony (December 17, 2009). "Microsoft donates PhotoDNA technology to make the Internet safer for kids". Retrieved July 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "New Video Fingerprinting Technology Created to Remove Child Pornography Online". MarketWatch. April 30, 2014. 
  8. ^ William Jackson (August 27, 2014). "Improved image analysis tools speed exploited children cases". GCN. 
  9. ^ a b "New Fingerprinting Technology to Remove Child Pornography Online", Friend Media Technology Systems
  10. ^ a b Liat Clark (April 30, 2014). "Child abuse-tracking tech donated to the world". Wired UK. 
  11. ^ a b "Microsoft’s response to the consultation on the European Commission Communication on the Rights of the Child (2011–2014)", European Commission
  12. ^ Mark Ward (March 23, 2014). "Cloud-based archive tool to help catch child abusers". BBC News. 
  13. ^ Reinhard Eher; Leam A. Craig; Michael H. Miner; Friedemann Pfäfflin (2011). International Perspectives on the Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Offenders: Theory, Practice and Research. John Wiley & Sons. p. 514. ISBN 1119996201. 
  14. ^ Marcia Lattanzi-Licht; Kenneth Doka (2004). Living with Grief: Coping with Public Tragedy. Routledge. p. 317. ISBN 1135941513. 
  15. ^ "PhotoDNA Cloud Service". Microsoft.com. Microsoft Corporation. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  16. ^ Waddell, Kveh (June 22, 2016). "A Tool to Delete Beheading Videos Before They Even Appear Online". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "Partnering to Help Curb Spread of Online Terrorist Content | Facebook Newsroom". Retrieved 2016-12-06.