How Facebook is Helping Its Users Fight Identity Theft

Facebook has launched a new security feature for its Indian users, the Profile Picture Guard helps ensure safety from identity theft

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Facebook. Pixabay
  • Facebook intends to build a safer global community
  • Profile pictures are now safeguarded by Facebook
  • These measures are taken to reduce the rising number of identity theft cases

New Delhi, August 02, 2017: Facebook is building a global community by launching features that provide aid to the users across the world, creating products that are targetted for specific regions. In one particular news segment at Facebook’s newsroom, they updated that Facebook profile pictures will now be protected with security guards, they have updated this feature for Indian users specifically, due to the rising demand to protect Identity.

India has a remarkably high number of identity theft cases, and this update by Facebook is indeed a commendable job. As it reads in their news headline “Giving people more control over their Facebook profile pictures.” Facebook promotes tools that provide its users to access the social media with an overall secure experience, Facebook’s promotional tools, and targeting a larger audience with their various other tactics serves well to their business.

“Profile pictures are an important part of building community on Facebook because they help people find friends and create meaningful connections. But not everyone feels safe adding a profile picture. In our research with people and safety organizations in India, we’ve heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the internet because they’re concerned about what may happen to their photos”, says Aarti Soman, Product Manager at Facebook India.

“These tools, developed in partnership with Indian safety organizations like Centre for Social Research, Learning Links Foundation, Breakthrough and Youth Ki Awaaz, are designed to give people more control over their experience and help keep them safe online”, she adds.

Even though Facebook provides safety features like – guards and watermarks for profile pictures, it doesn’t entirely protect us from the identity theft, it’s quite uncertain as to how they plan to protect other pictures uploaded on the social media?

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Identity theft is a common practice in India and it is very easy to steal identity from any social media, by stealing a person’s basic identity like – Name, Pictures, Address or Date of Birth and use it for unfair practices. People can use this information and pose as the person they have stolen from and commit fraud or offenses.

But, is the practice only limited to India? It very understood that India has the highest concerns for identity theft and lack of safety but places like Australia and UK have observed a trend of identity theft as well, while they have stricter laws and a strong jurisdiction is followed and despite these laws, they have observed a marginally high rate of theft and unlawful practice in this case.

Facebook doesn’t guarantee a total protection from theft as it only provides 75% security, as the pictures could still be screenshotted from Andriod phones, while this is not possible in the case of IOS users. There is also no restriction for users who take a screenshot from their desktop or laptop browsers. While these security measures are not foolproof, they could well reduce identity theft and give Indian social media users some additional peace of mind. India is a test case and the feature will soon be available in other countries as well.

Social media companies could do more to build protections against identity theft and make users aware of the available tools. People should also use their discretion and not let their guard down in the social media hunting ground.

Prepared by Nivedita Motwani. Twitter @Mind_Makeup


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