Google is developing a new technology to block child pornography links from internet searches, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt announced in a Daily Mail Op-Ed Monday.
More than 200 people are working on the new system, which is designed for searches in English-speaking countries. The changes are expected to roll out in 150 languages within six months, he said.
Pedophiles are taping abusive activities with kids and posting it online at an alarming rate, Schmidt added, so YouTube engineers are developing a detection technology to catch the videos.
Google has worked with police for years to prevent illegal images from being shared on the web, but Schmidt said more could be done.
“While no algorithm is perfect – and Google cannot prevent pedophiles adding new images to the web – these changes have cleaned up the results for over 100,000 queries that might be related to the sexual abuse of kids,” Schmidt wrote.
Current automated systems cannot detect and remove sexual abuse images, he said, so it must be done by hand.
“Computers can't reliably distinguish between innocent pictures of kids at bathtime and genuine abuse,” Schmidt wrote. “So we always need to have a person review the images.”
Once an image is determined to be illegal, it is tracked by a “unique digital fingerprint,” using Microsoft technology.
The search engine will begin showing warnings at the top of 13,000 queries that explain child sexual abuse is illegal and where one can get help.
Google will also provide technical support to the US National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Internet Watch Foundation in Britain to continue the fight against child sexual abuse.