Facebook is introducing new protections for profile pictures for users in India, in a bid to stop people copying, sharing, or otherwise misusing their images.
Facebook also hopes to take these features to other countries, based on the learning it will gather from India. India is the second largest market for Facebook with user base over 160 million people.
The social network says that it was motivated to offer the tools after hearing from Indian social and safety organizations. that some women in the country elected not to upload pictures of their faces to the internet.
The tools were developed in partnership with a range of those organizations, with tests indicating the kinds of things that would cut down on the misuse of profile pictures.
For example, Facebook says that something as simple as adding a design overlay to a picture means that others are at least 75 percent less likely to copy it.
People in India will start seeing a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard. When a user adds this guard:
- Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send the profile picture in a message on Facebook
- Those who are not friends on Facebook will not be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in others’ profile picture
- Where possible, taking a screenshot of profile pictures on Facebook will be prevented. Currently available only on Android devices.
- A blue border and shield around your profile picture will be displayed as a visual cue of protection
how this works
Here is how this Facebook guard works. As soon as you log in to your account, you will see a notification on the top of your News Feed asking to secure your profile picture.
Once you accept it, a message box will pop up, saying, “The Profile picture guard will help keep your current photo more secure on Facebook in three ways.”
Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send your profile picture in a message on Facebook. People you are not friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture.
Also, the blue border and shield around profile picture signals that other people should respect your profile picture and is a visual cue of protection deterring misuse.
Press “Next” and adjust or change your profile picture. Save it and your photo is protected. You can always turn profile picture guard off by clicking on your profile picture and then reverting the setting.