Facebook wants your photos naked

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Sometimes it is loud about cases in which someone discloses nude photos of their ex-girlfriend on the Internet – without their consent. Even celebrities are involved in such situations , which is a great breeding ground for tabloids.

For most users, such disclosure of private photos, i.e. porn vengeance, can spell the end of the world; there are even suicides on this account. Obviously, this is a massive invasion of privacy and should not be the case in a civilized society. Yet it does happen.

That’s why Facebook has come up with something to prevent publishing intimate photos without the consent of their owner – at least within Facebook and Instagram, as well as via Facebook Messenger. The idea involves the Australian government and is to suggest that users upload photos to Facebook that they are worried about.

Wait… but how ?!

Yes, that’s right. Facebook wants to encrypt the received private photos  using hashing . So when someone tries to share them later on Facebook, Instagram or Messenger, the service will compare their checksum with the one in the Facebook database and block their upload if necessary.

Australia’s e-security commissioner told ABC News how it works: Facebook will suggest users to send their naked photos to it via Facebook Messenger. The images sent will be encrypted. Then, when someone tries to send a photo that has the same hash value, no one will be able to see it. Facebook says that thanks to the end-to-end encryption used in the Messenger app (mobile, not desktop), your photos will be safe as there will be no middlemen in the process and the photos themselves won’t be stored, making them impossible to steal.

Will it really work?

So far, Facebook has announced the launch of a pilot program only in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia and Canada, so at the moment it is not known how effective it will be. On the one hand, the idea has some potential as a solution to the privacy breach. On the other hand, the question is how confident we are that this idea will not be used to encrypt someone else’s public photos. Since end-to-end encryption doesn’t allow Facebook to see photos, it won’t be able to use machine learning algorithms to distinguish photos where someone is negligee.

Moreover, many people still feel insecure about sharing their photos with someone – be it Facebook or another company – and are also concerned about the security of any technology they don’t know much about – especially in the case of Facebook, which has just leaked  private pictures .

Is there any other way? Yes. It can be closed at three points:

  1. Whether you take nude photos of yourself or any other potentially compromising photos is entirely up to you. However, don’t forget that they are a tempting target. If the photos don’t exist, they won’t leak.
  2. If you take such photos of yourself, store them offline on an encrypted device.
  3. If you want to share something that could potentially be used to ridicule you, or it could fall into hostile hands – or it could be a tool against you when your relationship breaks up – be prepared for the consequences. Anything posted on the internet can become public, no matter what security measures the website uses. After all, there is a human factor, and besides, there is no such thing as an absolutely secure system.