Google is not the only company tipping off the authorities about users on its network sharing child pornography. Microsoft has gotten into the game as well, as the software company recently tipped off Pennsylvania police of a man who was sharing child porn via his OneDrive account.

We shouldn't be surprised by this because it isn't the first time Microsoft traveled down this route. Last year, Microsoft did a similar thing after it tipped off police of a man who was also sharing and receiving child porn images via his OneDrive account.

How does Microsoft know users are storing child porn images?

Simple, the company uses a technology called PhotoDNA, and it is capable of calculating a mathematical hash of an image to recognize if it is related to child abuse. PhotoDNA does this automatically, and it is also capable of telling if something is of child porn origins even if it is altered.

Interestingly enough, Microsoft is not the only company using PhotoDNA to help build a database of illegal images on the web. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, and Google are all using PhotoDNA, and this is the same technology Google used to help capture a child porn culprit recently.

While we've long known that Microsoft is scanning emails and contents on OneDrive, the company scanning practices doesn't result in targeted ads, unlike Google. Still, Google has pointed out on several occasions that scanning emails is only done to locate illegal activities, and that it is strictly limited to child porn.

Despite the amount of child porn culprits that have been captured by email scanning, privacy advocates are still concerned, but this is mainly related to the sharing of private information and advertisements.

At the rate things are going; we should come to the conclusion that getting companies to cease and desist from scanning emails might turn out to be a losing battle, especially since scanning have led to the arrest of several individuals who were performing illegal and sickening activities on the Web.

We're not fans of email scanning, but email scanning such as this is a good thing as long as it is for a just cause, and not for collecting user data for advertisement purposes, among other things.

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