If you’ve had a nude photo taken, you might be nervous about where it could end up. Now, Facebook is partnering with a small Australian Government agency to prevent sexual or intimate images being shared without the subject’s consent.
e-Safety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said victims of “image-based abuse” would be able to take action before photos were posted to Facebook, Instagram or Messenger. “We see many scenarios where maybe photos or videos were taken consensually at one point, but there was not any sort of consent to send the images or videos more broadly,” Inman Grant said.
If you’re worried your intimate photos will end up on Instagram or Facebook, you can get in contact with the e-Safety Commissioner. They might then tell you to send the images to yourself on Messenger. “It would be like sending yourself your image in email, but obviously this is a much safer, secure end-to-end way of sending the image without sending it through the ether,” Inman Grant said.
Once the image is sent via Messenger, Inman Grant said Facebook would use technology to “hash” it, which means creating a digital fingerprint or link. “They’re not storing the image, they’re storing the link and using artificial intelligence and other photo-matching technologies,” she said. “So if somebody tried to upload that same image, which would have the same digital footprint or hash value, it will be prevented from being uploaded.”
If the program goes according to plan, the photo will never show up on Facebook, even if a hacker or your ex tries to upload it.