Google removes two parents from their accounts for uploading nude photos of their children | Technology
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Mark, an engineer from San Francisco, took some photos of his son’s penis with his Android phone. He apparently had an infection and wanted to share his progress with the pediatrician. He sent the images to his wife’s iPhone. Two days later he received an alert from Google: his account had been suspended, along with his contacts, emails, photos, calendar and of course his address. He had “seriously” violated company policies and one of the possible reasons was “child exploitation and abuse”. “Oh God, Google probably thinks it’s child porn,” Mark thought then, as he told the New York Times, What’s ahead of this story?
This incident occurred in February 2021. Google reported the photos to the police, who investigated Mark and closed the case shortly after. Still, Google has refused to return his data to Mark. Among other things, the company alleges that it also found video of a baby with a naked woman. Mark says he doesn’t remember that video: “We woke up one morning. It was a beautiful day with my wife and son and I wanted to record the moment. If we had slept in our pajamas, all of this would have been avoided,” says Mark. Times.
Also in February 2021, another Texas parent explained a similar case on the Quora app. After suspending his account, he recounted his situation: “Thinking about the recent activities that could have caused Google to detect it, the only thing that comes to mind is that in the previous two days I took photos of my son’s infection in his parts. intimate to send to his pediatrician who was following him daily. This user also tried to appeal Google’s decision “through their review process form, but got a negative response.”
The two cases show the enormous complexity and dangers of the new digital age. Pedophilia is one of the most serious crimes and most societies are willing to give up some of their privacy to prevent it. But it also shows the incredible ability of the big technology companies to analyze any detail of our intimate lives.
The tech industry combats child pornography with two basic tools, created by Windows and Google. The first, PhotoDNA, consists of a huge database where every known image of child pornography is identified with a hashes (a unique code). If the machines detect exchanges of those images, they intercept and report them. The second, created by Google, allows you to identify new images. According to the article of New York Times, in 2021 that tool detected 4,260 cases. Among them were the cases of Mark and the father from Texas. The exact number of false positives is not known.
The decision not to return the accounts and cancel the email of these two citizens caused other problems in their daily lives. The change of email during the purchase of a house in Texas made the seller suspicious, for example. Google’s insistence on not returning the accounts to these two citizens, despite the evidence of being telemedicine and the filing of police cases, shows the immense power it has to become judge and party in crucial cases for thousands of people.
Ahir em van suspend the compte of El Boig de Can Fanga @BoigBCN.
I have not rebut cap clear explanation per part of @TwitterSupportbut several users have commented that in the last video of Somorrostro i Can Tunis from 1963, they sortiens nus entre barraques las segons.
– Joaquim Campa (@JoaquimCampa) August 22, 2022
Child pornography is a constant battle for Big Tech. A more common case occurred on Twitter in Spain during this week. The @boigbcn account, with 23,700 followers, was suspended after tweeting a 1963 video of Barcelona beaches showing naked children among barracks. Its owner, Joaquim Campa, who manages an account with about 96,000 followers, made it public in a tweet.
EL PAÍS asked the company if they had detected the children through complaints or automatically. Twitter’s entire response is that it was “by mistake.” After a few hours the account was active again. Campa has explained to this newspaper that he has not received any communication from Twitter at any time: he is not sure why it was suspended or why it was returned to him. The company has also not wanted to clarify to this newspaper why it acted.
If you have had a similar experience with Google or any other company, you can write to [email protected]
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