The CBI has issued a notice to social media platforms, calling them to use an intrusive photo-tracking technology called PhotoDNA.The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) wants the firms to use this tech and scan all photos on their database to track certain suspects.
However, this could mean a clear violation of the right to privacy and a breach of internet freedom for all other users.
What is PhotoDNA?
PhotoDNA is a Microsoft-owned tech designed exclusively for the purpose of tracking child exploitation images.
The system creates a digital signature or hash of an image and scans it against other photos to flag photos of child pornography or abuse cases on the internet.
It has been used widely to remove child abuse material, especially form platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
How does PhotoDNA technology work?
PhotoDNA creates a unique digit signature(know as “hash”) of an image which is then compared against signature(hashes) of other photos to find copies of the same image. When matched with a database containing hashes of previously identified illegal images, PhotoDNA is an incredible tool to help detect, disrupt and report the distribution of child exploitation material.
Its usage for other purposes has been restricted as it would mean imposing restrictions on a free and open Internet and legitimize broader regimes of censorship.
But, CBI wants to use PhotoDNA for regular cases
As per The Indian express, it has issued a notice and some photographs to social media firms, asking them to use the intrusive photo-tracking tech for tracking certain suspects.
Such an act would also violate the right of privacy, upheld by the Supreme Court as a Fundamental Right earlier this year, by placing all users on any social media platform — including those who are neither charged nor suspect — effectively under surveillance.