Jan 9, 2020

Hany Farid Leads Microsoft Project to Detect Child Sex Predators

From San Francisco Chronicle

Microsoft releases chat scanner to detect child sex predators

By Dina Bass, Bloomberg

Microsoft will share a tool it's been using on its Xbox gaming service to scan online text chats and detect adults seeking to groom and exploit children for sexual purposes.

Codenamed Project Artemis, the technique combs through historical messages and looks for indicative patterns and characteristics before assigning a probability rating. That can then be used by companies to decide which conversations on their platforms should get a closer look by a human moderator, wrote Courtney Gregoire, Microsoft's chief digital safety officer, in a blog post...

The team was led by [UC Berkeley Information and] Computer Science Professor Hany Farid, who previously worked with Microsoft to build PhotoDNA, a tool that's been used by 150 companies and organizations to find and report images of child sexual exploitation. Farid has written in opposition to the proliferation of end-to-end encryption in social and private messaging services, arguing that it makes detecting and preventing child abuse more difficult.


Hany Farid is a professor in the UC Berkeley School of Information, and EECS department.

Last updated:

January 15, 2020