Preventing Unwanted Porn from Spreading

I think it was around 2009 when Microsoft offered to leverage PhotoDNA to help law enforcement to fight child porn. PhotoDNA is a clever technology which helps to fingerprint any picture and keep the fingerprint stable even if you modify the picture (crop, change colors, brightness etc.). The idea is to build a database of known child porn pictures to be able to block them with ISPs or with social networks. 2011 Facebook committed to leverage this technology as well (Facebook Implements Microsoft’s PhotoDNA Technology). This is a really good development.

Now, Facebook came up with another – actually good – idea: Why do they not leverage this technology to fight revenge porn. According to Wikipedia, revenge porn is:

Revenge porn or revenge pornography is the sexually explicit portrayal of one or more people that is distributed without their consent via any medium.

In other words, your ex is distributing nude pictures of you without your consent. This is a growing concern in different countries. The approach Facebook takes is, that you send them your nude pictures, they create a fingerprint, delete the picture again and then block the distribution of these pictures.

Again, this is a good approach but…

  • To ensure quality, Facebook needs to look at the picture first, before they block it. How much do you trust these Facebook employees? In the case of child porn, the quality assurance is done by law enforcement but not here (obviously).
  • If they do not do the quality check, you would be able to have Facebook blocking any picture you would like to. Not something they will do.
  • I would expect them to store an audit trail, which might be sensitive as well.

Obviously just be very careful which pictures are allowed to be taken of you and where you send them to.

This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog post authored by Roger Halbheer. Read the original post at: Roger Halbheer on Security