February 14, 2019

A Revolutionary New Screen Accountability Software

Covenant Eyes just introduced a revolution in Internet accountability software.

In a world where the Internet is filled with pornographic content, accountability software has become a necessity. The software tracks the content being viewed on the user’s device and notifies someone they set as an accountability partner if any of the content is graphic.

Why accountability software works

Accountability is the best solution to overcoming pornography use. While filters can block out some bad content, having an accountability partner gives the user the support and friendship they need to sustainably stop viewing pornographic content. The accountability partner stands by their side and helps the user fight this battle. Covenant Eyes has long been the leader in accountability-based software.

How Screen Accountability is different

In the past, accountability software worked by creating a list of every site the user visited, and then flagged any URL known to have graphic content. This left many holes. It could not track content within apps. It could not tell if content viewed on “mixed content sites”, which include both pornographic and non-pornographic content, was safe or not. It also made web browsing much slower.

Covenant Eye’s new Screen Accountability software fixes all of these major issues by tracking content on the screen rather than URLs. Here’s how it works:

How Screen Accountability works

Screen Accountability is a program that runs in the background of a device. Approximately once a minute, the program will take a screenshot. This image is run through an algorithm that detects whether the content is pornographic. If it is, the image is blurred and sent to the accountability partner.

The beauty of this solution is that it works via content on screen rather than browser-based URLs. This means Screen Accountability won’t slow down your browser, will work through any app, and even will work offline.

Is Screen Accountability safe/private?

The immediate concern many people will have is about privacy. Will your accountability partner or Covenant Eyes be able to see everything you do on your device? The answer is no, and it’s actually quite cool how it works.

First, after the screenshot is analyzed by the algorithm, it gets deleted. Second, if the image is detected as graphic, the image is blurred three times BEFORE it gets uploaded to Covenant Eyes servers and set to your accountability partner. This blurring makes any text unreadable, preventing the release of personal information. Finally, this system has more privacy that URL-based accountability because your partner won’t see every single URL you visit, only blurred images of detected content.

How an accountability partner tell content is indeed graphic if it’s blurred?

Covenant Eyes wants to protect accountability partners from exposure to graphic content, so the blurring effect is necessary. However, because of the blurring, it’s difficult to know what exactly the user was looking at.

To solve this issue, Covenant Eyes includes additional information with each image such as title of site and a timestamp to identify what happened. Although the image is blurred, you may read the timestamp is 2am and the site title is obscene. In the opposite case, you may read the site title is “Justin Bieber music video” in which it must be a false alarm.

What about filtering?

The new Screen Accountability software also comes with simplified filtering. There are two setting to choose from: Adult – which blocks pornography sites and turns on safe search and Family – which additionally blocks mixed content sides like Tumblr and Reddit and applies moderate YouTube restrictions.

Conclusion

This new software by Covenant Eyes is truly something special. We have never seen such an advanced technology to fight pornography. It is revolutionary.

We encourage you to learn more about Screen Accountability by watching Covenant Eye’s demo livestream or visiting their website. Every person and family should have accountability software – and Covenant Eyes is second to none.

Ben Miller

Former Digital Strategies Coordinator

Ben joined the National Center on Sexual Exploitation as Digital Strategies Coordinator in July of 2018. As Digital Strategies Coordinator, Ben raises awareness for issues of sexual exploitation through digital media, email marketing, and website development. He works to create a community of activists who are enthusiastic about combating sexual exploitation and changing culture.

Ben earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. He graduated with Honors in the Liberal Arts and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During his college career, Ben spent a semester studying in Washington, D.C. and interned for a member of Congress. On campus, he actively sought to change Greek culture, especially with respect to sexual exploitation, through his membership in Phi Kappa Theta fraternity. Ben also supported his peers who were afflicted by the harms of pornography through a weekly men’s purity group.

Ben’s deep commitment to fighting sexual exploitation was ignited in part by the work done by NCOSE. While writing a research literature review for a public policy class in college, he came across Porn Harms Research and the initiatives being carried out by NCOSE. Ben, a strong anti-pornography activist at the time, began to learn more about the connections between all forms of exploitation and how prominent these issues are in today’s society. He devoted himself to raising awareness about the web of sexual exploitation and is deeply grateful for the work NCOSE has done on these issues. Ben is excited to be a part of the team at the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and to contribute to this important cause.

Further Reading