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Last Updated: May 06, 2019

Are images processed by Image Search stored, and how are they used by Alibaba Cloud?

Image Search does not save the images processed by Image Search. Image Search uses a vector-based template which only stores “features” of an image, but never whole images themselves. Once the “features” are stored, it is impossible to utilize them to recreate the original image.

This applies to all functions of Image Search (described in detail as follows).

  • When calling the “add picture” API:

    1. The gateway service posts the image to the algorithm service for category prediction, subject identification, feature extraction, etc.
    2. Results are returned to the gateway service.
    3. The gateway service then saves the results returned to the vector search engine.
  • When calling the “query picture” API:

    1. The gateway service posts the image to the algorithm service for category prediction, subject identification, feature extraction, etc.
    2. Results are returned to the gateway service.
    3. The gateway service queries the vector search engine based on the results returned by the algorithm service. The search results are obtained and returned to the user.

During both processes, neither the gateway service nor the algorithm service saves the original image as the image is invalidated immediately after it is processed. The vector search engine only saves the information extracted by the algorithm service, which is basically the “features” of the image. As mentioned before, these “features” can never be leveraged to recreate the original image at any point.

This vector-based model is confirmed and detailed out in our Alibaba Cloud International Website Product Terms of Service. Should you have any specific questions or concerns, please contact a sales representative for more information.

Who has access to my content that is processed by Image Search?

No one has access to the content that is processed, as Image Search never stores original content. Once processed, the images are invalidated immediately. Even though “features” are stored, it is impossible to utilize them to restore the original image.

Do I still own my content that is processed by Image Search?

Yes. Image Search never owns any of the content that it processes as content is never stored and is also irretrievable.