Google To Aid Search For Abused And Missing Kids - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
4/14/2008
04:30 PM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
Commentary
50%
50%

Google To Aid Search For Abused And Missing Kids

Google has taken its commitment to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children another step by offering tools to help search for lost or missing children who might be the victims of abusive criminals.

Google has taken its commitment to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children another step by offering tools to help search for lost or missing children who might be the victims of abusive criminals.The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) does good work. Since its founding some 24 years ago, it has found more than 124,500 children based on tips received from the public. Google teamed up with NCMEC back in 2006 to help prevent predators from being able to search for and contact children via the Internet.

Some at Google decided that prevention just wasn't good enough, and decided to take a more proactive role in helping search for children who are missing.

Google Research Scientist Shumeet Baluja writes:

One of our core strengths here at Google is our ability to manage and organize immense amounts of information -- whether it's text, image, audio, or video -- and make it more useful and accessible for users. As a member of Google's research group, I realized that NCMEC had an immediate need for some of our research-stage technology. They needed help organizing and making sense of the enormous number of images and videos sent to them every week through their CyberTipline and from law enforcement officers nationwide.

So we went into overdrive. I recruited some fellow engineers to help me build tools that NCMEC might find useful. Throughout 2007, using our 20% time, we created innovative software tools to help NCMEC track down child predators through video and image search. With these tools, analysts will be able to more quickly and easily search NCMEC's large information systems to sort and identify files that contain images of child pornography. In addition, a new video tool we built streamlines analysts' review of video snippets.

The keys here were organization, scalability, and search. In particular, the tools we provided will aid in organizing and indexing NCMEC's information so that analysts can both deal with new images and videos more efficiently and also reference historical material more effectively. We hope the tools we've built for NCMEC will help its analysts make the important and often time-sensitive work of investigating child predators faster and more efficient.

Baluja is genuinely pleased to be able to help prevent children from becoming victims, and if they are already victims, to be able to identify them and their abusers faster. Obviously anything we, as a society, can do to prevent this type of child abuse is very important. I am heartened to see Googlers using their 20% time for such a good cause.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
Slideshows
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll