Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has announced the launch of a free version of PhotoDNA to help detect illegal images of missing children. It helps to identify the images illegal depicted in sexual acts.
The company has developed the PhotoDNA service in coordination with Darthmouth College in the year 2009. Around seventy organizations and firms such as Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) have been using this service to prevent child pornography. But, its premise version was difficult to setup and use. It is also expensive and consumes a lot of time.
But, the recent cloud-based version of the PhotoDNA is easy to setup and run. It is also free. The businesses can sign up for this service for free and detect the illegal images. According to Microsoft, around 720,000 of the images from a total of the 1.8 billion uploaded images daily are illegal.
The PhotoDNA service converts the photos into numerical values through hashing and compared with the hashes of the illegal images shared by the trusted sources. It is highly effective and can even detect the modified images.
The new service is being used by Kik, a mobile chat network, and Flipboard. The user base of Kik is estimated at 200 million. Kik uses PhotoDNA service to identify the illegal images as they are being uploaded and removes them instantly. It then blocks the user accounts and forwards the user details to the law enforcement authorities for necessary action.
The newly launched PhotoDNA is faster when compared to the earlier versions and uses the updated algorithm to detect the illegal images. Microsoft is committed to stopping exploiting the images of children.
It helps to safeguard the privacy of users. Photo sharing companies and social media networks can come forward and use this service to safeguard the privacy of clients and users.
The principal researcher, Larry Zitnick at Microsoft, has played a vital role in developing the technology.
The Senior Attorney, Courtney Gregoire at Digital Crimes Unit of Microsoft, says the wider deployment of this technology helps to safeguard the lives of sexual abuse victims.