Just Like Google, Microsoft Is Also Scanning Outlook And OneDrive For Explicit Child Abuse Images

Recently, a Houston man has been arrested by Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce after Google sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children saying that the man had explicit images of a child in his Gmail account. While this is a good news, it created lots of discussions on internet privacy. It is not just Google, even Microsoft scans your Outlook.com and OneDrive accounts for explicit child abuse images.

Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit has long worked to advance innovations and strong partnerships to combat child exploitation. In 2009, Microsoft, working with digital imaging expert Dr. Hany Farid of Dartmouth College, developed PhotoDNA and freely licensed it to NCMEC for use in a program to disrupt the online distribution of the worst known images of child pornography known to NCMEC.

Google and Microsoft are now working together with NCMEC to combat child pornography on the web. You can read more on it here. In fact, even Facebook has joined Microsoft in the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s PhotoDNA program to combat child pornography.

Just like how Google helped Houston Metro executives, Microsoft last week filed a complaint against a Pennsylvania man
Tyler James Hoffman for his alleged possession and distribution of child pornography using OneDrive. He was later arrested by state police and booked into the Monroe County Correctional Facility.

As per the complaint, Microsoft twice detected the accused uploading illicit images to his OneDrive account earlier this year. During questioning, Hoffman admitted that he used a Microsoft live.com e-mail address for receiving and trading child porn via his mobile device and he uploaded illicit images to OneDrive.

You can read the police complaint below.


OneDrive Photo Scan

via: Smoking Gun

  • Men’s Rights Groningen

    Good, safety > privacy, to anyone who’d scream ”we want more privacy now” ¿would you say the same if your child was being raped by some (wo)man who had pictures of them on their computer and it could’ve been prevented by Microsoft searching their computer? if you genuinely believe that privacy is more important than the safety of your children then I have no respect to you.

    Good job Microsoft. 😉

    • Men’s Rights Groningen

      Plus that Microsoft OneDrive thing has been going on since Windows Live Folders…

  • TheNet Avenger

    Microsoft has been scanning incoming content for child porn since they first allowed content and data storage. They also do an additional scan when a user shares a folder publicly for anything that would be illegal to host.

    Do not conflate this with data mining or scanning that invades privacy, as they are very different things.

    The difference between Microsoft and Google is vast.

    If you aren’t a pervert and don’t share your folders to the public, Microsoft will never retain any information about you or your stored data that they can access. Google retains access to your data in addition to profile and keyword indexing they keep and use from GDrive and GMail, and can query the data at anytime without escalation.

    • Danny

      Very true! Microsoft has been using algorithms to check for porn. in fact porn has been banned on skydrive from day one

      • TheNet Avenger

        The Skydrive/Onedrive ‘porn’ and other content restrictions have changed in the last couple of years.

        You are correct that originally it was completely banned. However, it is only banned or frowned on by Microsoft now if the user ‘shares’ the folder publically.

        So MS no longer cares what you store in OneDrive as long as you aren’t sharing it, and then it has to pass legality filters for copyright, etc based on the country/region.

  • Rod Iron

    In no way do I condone this but there’s one problem with using the cloud, you really don’t know who is looking at your files.

  • http://www.facebook.com/boxa72 boxa72

    Your allowed to have porn as long as you don’t share it but I don’t blame Microsoft for scanning for child porn as its fuckin sick!!!