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Washington, July 17 (ANI): Microsoft has launched its cloud version of its PhotoDNA service, which helps law enforcement services and websites detect illegal images including those depicting child sexual abuse from massive photo libraries.

PhotoDNA, launched in 2009, was developed by Microsoft in collaboration with Dartmouth College has helped over 70 companies like Facebook and Twitter identify illegal photos for removal but it required substantial time, money and expertise to run it.

According to, the new PhotoDNA Cloud Service is easier to set up and deploy from Microsoft’s Azure platform and businesses can sign up to use it for free.

PhotoDNA works by taking known child sex abuse photos from organizations like the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and converting them into numerical values, which function as their fingerprints. The system can then scour a website for matches and identify even images that were slightly altered, resized or marked to bypass lesser but similar technologies.

The service has been adopted more recently by Flipboard and Canadian mobile chat network Kik. The messaging app which has over 200 million users, uses PhotoDNA to detect exploitive profile pictures as they are being uploaded so that they can be removed and the user’s account can be reported to law enforcement agencies.

In addition, Microsoft says that it has enhanced the algorithm used to identify illegal images making PhotoDNA 1,000 times faster than previous versions. (ANI)

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