gmail android updateSo yesterday we reported on a somewhat victorious case in which thanks to Google, a sex offender was arrested. However it seems the method in which he was found out has led some to question Google’s tactics. In case you missed out on yesterday’s report, basically through Google’s technology, they detected that the man had child pornography stashed in his email.

Google then alerted the authorities which led to his capture. This raises the question of, does Google regularly go through our mails to find incriminating evidence? What about our privacy then? Well Google has since come forward and clarified the technology behind the scan that led to the man’s capture.

According to a Gmail spokesperson who spoke to AFP, they claim that for every image of child sexual abuse, there is apparently a unique digital fingerprint which Google’s special technology can detect. “Each child sexual abuse image is given a unique digital fingerprint which enables our systems to identify those pictures, including in Gmail.”

Unfortunately the spokesperson did not dive into details, but apparently this is a system that is able to scan email and the internet for such images which is then forwarded to the authorities. The spokesperson then made it abundantly clear that the technology is only used to detect child porn, and that it cannot actually read your emails or alert authorities to other kinds of criminal activity. So, does the clarification that help put your mind at ease?

Filed in Web. Read more about gmail, Google and social hit.

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