Friday, 17 November, 2017

Sending your nudes to Facebook seems like a really bad idea

Facebook wants users to share their nude photos with it as it fights revenge porn Facebook requests nude photos from users in a bid to tackle revenge porn
Carlton Santiago | 09 November, 2017, 00:56

During the trial, those anxious about their images being posted as revenge porn have to contact Australia's e-Safety commissioner through an online form, which may then suggest providing them to Facebook.

Facebook says that it recognizes that revenge porn can be an "incredibly devastating experience" for victims.

So, just in case a person's former lover decides to leak any of those pictures, one can take steps to prevent the images from being shared widely on Facebook or Instagram.

I guess you've got to be pretty anxious that some toe-rag is interested in sharing nude photographs of you, if you're prepared to ask for Facebook's help in this way.

Others, however, have expressed serious concerns about the amount of trust the system requires users to put in Facebook. Compromising images that are shared with Facebook will be hashed to create a digital fingerprint which the company can then use to identify the same images if they are uploaded by someone else.

Facebook is first trying and testing the technology in Australia where it is partnering with a government agency led by e-safety commissioner, Julia Inman Grant.

"They're not storing the image, they're storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies", Julie Inman Grant, the Australian eSafety Commissioner, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. If another user tries to upload the same image on Facebook or Instagram, Facebook will test it against its stored hashes, and stop those labeled as revenge porn from being distributed.

Facebook's customer support team will then review a blurred version of the image to ensure it's explicit, then "hash" it before deletion.

Right now, the company is doing a trial run in Australia but will introduce new trials in the United Kingdom, U.S, and Canada. Revenge porn is the uploading of a nude photo of someone without their consent with the intent to cause harm or damage their reputation. It's worth noting that Facebook already has mechanisms for reporting revenge porn without preemptively sending them the images.

It is important to note that 4% of US internet users have become victims of revenge porn, according to a 2016 study.

This has led some security experts to warn that more needs to be done to combat revenge porn, particularly in terms of education.

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