Facebook's latest new features are designed to stop scammers from stealing your profile photos

This may not be a problem most people think about, but as it turns out, social media photo theft is a major issue. Whether for the purpose of creating fake profiles or using them for sketchy web advertising, your photos could easily turn up somewhere online without your knowledge or consent. To this effect, Facebook's latest feature test, right now limited to India only, is designed to stop people from misusing profile photos.

The way this works is far from simple, though: the profile picture guard is actually comprised of five separate layers of protection. Firstly, it lets people disable the download and sharing options, both in the Facebook app and in private messages. Secondly, it disables taking screenshots from Facebook's Android app, which is currently the only app supporting this functionality. Also, people not on your friends list will no longer be able to tag themselves, or anyone else, on your profile picture (the question of why this is an option in the first place remains a mystery, though.)

And lastly, a couple of "visual protections" can be enabled as well: a blue border and shield surrounding the photo, and a number of specially-crafted patterns overlaid on top of the picture. But even though neither of these protections will stop someone determined enough to steal someone else's profile photo, Facebook says such measures have reduced the likelihood of profile photo theft by 75 percent.

Also, while the current test is focusing primarily on Indian women, the company says it plans to expand the functionality to other countries in the future as well.

source: Facebook via Engadget


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