When most people are asked about the products Microsoft makes they might mention the Xbox One, Windows, Office or maybe even the Surface Pro 3. Those are well known products but Microsoft actually produces a lot of tools that most people are only peripherally aware of if they even know about them all. One such tool is PhotoDNA which is designed to prevent abusive images of children from being uploaded to the internet. Even if you have never heard of PhotoDNA you probably are familiar with companies that use it such as Facebook and Twitter. Today Microsoft released a cloud version of PhotoDNA to the public for no charge.
Microsoft noted on the company’s blog that over 1.8 billion images are uploaded to the world wide web every day and about 720,000 of these images contain child pornography. PhotoDNA has already been used to detect and prevent millions of images of illegal sexual acts involving minors but smaller organizations faced a number of challenges using it such as keeping the software up to date and hiring administrators to utilize the tools. According to Microsoft the free cloud version removes those technical issues so that PhotoDNA becomes more accessible to more online communities.