Microsoft pushes new tool: Scan chat apps for potential child sex offenders

Microsoft on Thursday unveiled a new tool that scans online chat history to find people who want to sexually assault children. The tech industry is working to crack down on online child crime, and Microsoft’s move is also aimed at that. The service, codenamed Project Artemis, scans historical chat history records to identify potential child sex offenders.

Microsoft pushes new tool: Scan chat apps for potential child sex offenders

The patented technology is based on a Microsoft patent that uses historical chat data to give a probability rating for online conversations that companies can use to determine whether they should manually review online conversations.

Microsoft has been using the technology for years to monitor chat content on Xbox platforms, and the tech giant is now considering integrating Project Artemis into other chat services, such as Skype.

“The ‘Artemis Project’ is an important step forward, but it is by no means a panacea. Courtney Gregoire, Microsoft’s head of digital security, said in a blog post. “Online child sexual exploitation and abuse and detection of online child abduction are important issues, but we are not intimidated by the complexity of such problems. “

Microsoft has partnered with Meet Group, Roblox, Kik and Thorn to develop the tool and is currently offering the Artemis Project to third-party online services with chat capabilities and Thorn. Thorn, a non-profit organization that develops technology to protect children from sexual abuse, will begin licensing the technology to other services this week. Hany Farid, the scholar behind Microsoft’s PhotoDNA tool, led the development of project Artemis, which scans images for evidence of child sexual exploitation.