Hashing technology, have you heard of it? PhotoDNA is a technology developed by Microsoft that computes hash values of images, video and audio files to identify alike images. I never knew there was this kind of technology. What Facebook wants to do is use it by having users send nude photos of themselves, where Facebook would hash the images and keep the hash files in a database. Their thought process is protecting users in the event of revenge porn. According to the article, “around 54,000 cases of revenge porn—the sharing of sexually explicit images and videos without a person’s consent—are reported to Facebook each month, according to documents leaked earlier this year.”
PhotoDNA is primarily used in the prevention of child pornography, and works by computing a unique hash that represents the image. This hash is computed such that it is resistant to alterations in the image, including resizing and minor color alterations. It works by converting the image to black and white, re-sizing it, breaking it into a grid, and looking at intensity gradients or edges.
Facebook plans to test this technology in Australia first and if it is successful the trial will spread to the United States, as well as the United Kingdom and Canada. I’m not quite sure if I would participate. I understand why they want to introduce this technology to their users, to protect them possibly from crazy exes (and face it, we all have at least one crazy ex). I personally feel like me sending naked photos of myself to Facebook to prevent a crazy ex from spreading photos of me is counter-productive. I think it is a cool idea, but way to invasive of privacy. Why do they need naked photos, can’t the software work with facial recognition?
What do you think of the PhotoDNA software? Would you participate by sending your nudes to Facebook? Do you think Facebook is doing the right thing based off the fact that they see around 54,000 cases of revenge porn each month? Do you think AI technology can in the future play a role in preventing the wrong photos of you being spread on social networking sites? Should people be more selective with the photos they send to even their significant other?