Sep 1, 2019

Hany Farid Finds Facebook’s Encryption Plans “Harmful for Children”

From The Telegraph

Facebook urged not to encrypt children's messaging accounts over NSPCC grooming fears

By Mike Wright

Facebook should not encrypt children’s messenger accounts unless it can prove the move will not put them in danger from paedophiles, the NSPCC has said...

The call comes as the man who invented the groundbreaking software that detects and blocks millions of abuse images online, Prof. Hany Farid, told the Telegraph that Facebook’s encryption plans were “spectacularly harmful for children” and “morally reprehensible”...

The professor, who currently teaches at University of California, Berkeley, warned encrypting Messenger would hinder the used of programmes like PhotoDNA and could create a “safe harbour” to trade child abuse images.

“It will kill it (PhotoDNA) in its tracks,” he said. “There is no question that this is spectacularly harmful to children and dangerous. 

“I find it morally bankrupt that knowing the problem that you have and knowing there is a technological solution and then for a 67-billion dollar company to say 'it’s not my problem'. This is morally reprehensible and we should not allow this to happen.” 


Hany Farid is a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and EECS. He specializes in digital forensics. 

Last updated:

June 12, 2020