Schmidt outlines Google's plans to combat child pornography

In the ongoing war against child pornography, Google's Eric Schmidt has taken to The Daily Mail, explaining the company's new policies...


In the ongoing war against child pornography, Google's Eric Schmidt has taken to The Daily Mail, explaining the company's new policies against the depravity. According to Schmidt, Google actively removes child sexual abuse imagery from its services and immediately report the abuse to the appropriate authorities. The evidence is apparently regularly used to prosecute and convict criminals.

Following up on UK's David Cameron's speech earlier this year, Schmidt says that there is always more to be done, and lists out the number of steps Google is taking to stop child pornography on the Internet, which includes bringing in state-of-the-art technology to tackle the problem.

First up is cleaning up its search service. Google has fine tuned Search to prevent links to sexual abuse material from popping up in results. The changes have cleaned up results for more than 100,000 queries that might be related to the sexual abuse of children. Schmidt does state, however, that flaws are possible, since no algorithm is perfect.

 Schmidt outlines Google's plans to combat child pornography

Google has set up some plans to combat child pornography

 

Step two is deterrence. Warnings are shown, both from Google as well as charities, at the top of its search results for more than 13,000 queries. These warnings make it clear that a child's sexual abuse is illegal, and offer advice on where the user can get help. After this comes the detection and removal of child-porn-related imagery. The removal is done manually by a person, since there is no way for a computer to distinguish between innocent pictures of children during bath time and genuine child abuse.

Each illegal image discovered is given a unique digital fingerprint. This allows Google's computers to detect these pictures whenever they pop up on the search giants systems. Schmidt gives due credit to Microsoft for sharing its picture detection technology. Videos of child abuse will be identified and dealt with through the use of a new technology, which Google hopes to make available to other Internet companies and child safety organisations in the near future.

Last, but not least, is offering technical expertise to organisations working against the sexual exploitation of children online. Google plans to send computer engineers to the Internet Watch Foundation and the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The engineers will help these organisations stay ahead of child abusers on the Internet.


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