Microsoft PhotoDNA: The technology to fight human trafficking

Microsoft always makes special efforts for various social causes across the world. This special team, known as Microsoft Citizenship Team, created apps, software and merges technology with social cause. Microsoft’s team’s ‘PhotoDNA’, a technology that finds hidden copies of the images of child sexual exploitation is also a part of this effort. The technology is developed by Hany Farid, a leading digital-imaging expert and professor of computer science at Dartmouth College. The PhotoDNA technology was donated to National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) by Microsoft in December, 2009.

Microsoft PhotoDNA

Microsoft PhotoDNA

Child pornography is a serious issue across the globe. Most of the countries have strict laws against child pornography which involve severe punishments. Child pornography exploits children, which may be produced with actual sexual assault of the child or the images may be stimulated. In either way, this offense is punishable. The law regarding child pornography says that even the stimulated images can be a source of child sexual abuse. This is in fact supported by real facts where the criminals who possess or produce child pornography have molested at least one child. So, you can imagine the severity of this issue.

On the similar lines, professor Mary Leary, Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America, mentioned in his guest post that,

“On July 24, Microsoft took an important step in its initiative to combat human trafficking by convening a “generator” discussion in Washington, D.C.  Generators are facilitated sessions designed to find opportunities for technology interventions within specific issue areas.  Consistent with its continuing work with the White House Office of Science and  Technology, Microsoft convened this generator as a forum for many of the nation’s leaders in the fight against child sex trafficking to join together and discuss ways in which technology is used and can be harnessed to disrupt child sex trafficking.”

This discussion mainly focused on gathering information regarding typical manifestations of child sex trafficking. The participants were encouraged to work together to combat this issue by thinking “outside the box” for PhotoDNA and for other solutions. This discussion served as the common ground for the analysis and innovative ideas for the solutions.

You can read the original post about PhotoDNA and its features here.

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Ankit Gupta is a writer by profession and has more than 7 years of global writing experience on technology and other areas. He follows technological developments and likes to write about Windows & IT security. He has a deep liking for wild life and has written a book on Top Tiger Parks of India.