University of Twente researchers have developed a system that makes it possible to scan traffic on the Internet for illegal photographs without infringing on users' privacy rights.
The researchers say the system could be used by Internet service providers (ISPs) to keep their networks "clean" and by police to search for illegal Internet images. For example, the system enables police to use their standard database for detecting illegal photographs to scan networks as well, which currently is off limits due to concerns the database could end up in the wrong hands. The system ensures the police can only see the number of illegal photographs to be found on the Internet, meaning the privacy of the owner of the photographs remains safe.
"You can compare it with a sort of safe, the contents of which you cannot see but in which you can place photographs," says University of Twente researcher Andreas Peter. "Subsequently, it is the 'safe' alone that scans the photographs and then sends a confidential report to the police." The police can open this report with a special key, indicating how many illegal photographs are in the safe.
The new system also enables ISPs to use the police database to scan their network for illegal photographs.
From University of Twente (Netherlands)
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