Microsoft’s newly enforced terms and conditions have led to the arrest of a man over child abuse images.
A BBC report says that information from Microsoft was provided to the Pennsylvania Police and used to arrest and charge a local man who shared content through a Live.com email account.
Microsoft’s Services Agreement informs its users that their content and communications can be scanned to search for such images, and explains what happens when they are found.
The man, who the BBC said was in his 20s, was arrested on 31 July, just after the new Microsoft terms came into force.
The Microsoft terms say: “In many cases Microsoft is alerted to violations of the Code of Conduct through customer complaints, but we also deploy automated technologies to detect child pornography or abusive behavior that might harm the system, our customers or others.
“If you violate this Agreement, there are a range of actions we may take including…suspending or cancelling your access to the Services…and/or referring such activity to appropriate authorities. Content that is deleted may be irretrievable.”
The report follows similar news about Google, and the work that it does with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
V3 contacted Microsoft about the BBC report. While it did not comment on the Pennsylvania arrest it did, as Google did, say that it reports content to the NCMEC.
Mark Lamb, senior PR manager for Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit, said: “Child pornography violates the law as well as our terms of service, which makes clear that we use automated technologies to detect abusive behavior that may harm our customers or others.
“In 2009, we helped develop PhotoDNA, a technology to disrupt the spread of exploitative images of children, which we report to the NCMEC as required by law.”