Tech | November 8, 2017 1:06 pm

To Help Stop Revenge Porn, Facebook Wants Your…Nude Photos?

Tech giant is testing a program in Australia that raises even more questions about user privacy.

Facebook Wants Your Nude Photos In Order to Preemptively Stop Revenge Porn
Facebook startup screens are seen displayed on various devices on 10 May, 2017. (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Facebook wants your nude photos, but the tech giant says it is for a good cause. The social media platform wants to preemptively prevent revenge porn on the site by gathering nude images and videos of its users, reports Newsweek. The feature is currently being tested in Australia.

Users are being asked to send in naked photos of themselves via Messenger, reports Newsweek. The photos are supposed to be anything that could be uploaded by someone without the owner’s consent. Facebook then plans to use the images to build a database of specific photos that can be blocked if anyone tries to upload them to the site in the future.

Each month, there are about 54,000 cases of revenge porn reported to Facebook, according to Newsweek. Alexandra Whiston-Dew, a private client lawyer at British law firm Mishcon de Reya, said in a statement that publication of these sexually-explicit photographs on Facebook is often the most devastating because it is where the person’s friends, family, and colleagues are all in one place.

But some people are rightly worried about the idea of sending Facebook all of these private pictures in the first place.

“We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counterintuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient and Facebook will need to be able to reassure people that they have the right measures in place to protect them,” Whiston-Dew said, according to Newsweek.

Facebook will not store the photos and videos, but will instead create a “hash” — or a digital footprint that will be used to automatically prevent the content from being shared. However, though this could be a good step towards preventing revenge porn, it will not be enough to stop it.

“The only safe nude photos are the ones that aren’t taken,” Javvad Malik, security advocate at AlienVault, told Newsweek. “Unfortunately, the issue of revenge porn, or unwanted distribution of compromising photos isn’t one that can be solved by technology alone.”