Facebook wants you to send them nudes to stop revenge porn

· November 8, 2017  
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sue seecof | Flickr

Facebook wants your nudes. More accurately, the social media giant thinks it can prevent people from sharing revenge porn if you send it explicit selfies first.

For those unaware, “revenge porn” is a tale as old as the internet. A scorned, spiteful, sonovabitch ex decides to ruin your life by dumping his hidden cache of those intimate videos you filmed on Valentine’s Day 2015 all over the interwebz and social media.

Now your parents, your co-workers, your friends, potential employers, and the whole internet is watching you do the nasty. And the internet, of course, is forever.

But Facebook thinks it can preemptively combat such uninvited nightmares on its platform; it just wants you to send it your nudes first. Here’s the deal. According to The Verge, Facebook — which is testing this new strategy in Australia  — claims it won’t store your photos and videos, but will instead digitally “hash” them.

As computer security site Naked Security explains, “a hash is created by feeding a photo into a hashing function. What comes out the other end is a digital fingerprint that looks like a short jumble of letters and numbers. You can’t turn the hash back into the photo but the same photo, or identical copies of it, will always create the same hash.”

The photos end up looking like this: 48008908c31b9c8f8ba6bf2a4a283f29c15309b1

The social network will then track these “footprints” with image-matching technology and prevent others from sharing the same files. But the catch is your photos and videos still need to be uploaded to Facebook. That’s where things get tricky.

“Yes, they’re not storing a copy, but the image is still being transmitted and processed. Leaving forensic evidence in memory and potentially on disk,” digital forensics expert Lesley Carhart told Vice’s Motherboard.

“My specialty is digital forensics and I literally recover deleted images from computer systems all day — off disk and out of system memory. It’s not trivial to destroy all trace of files, including metadata and thumbnails.”

According to Naked Security, the scheme will soon be tested in Britain, the US and Canada after Australia.

There is, of course, a vastly easier way to ensure that explicit photos and videos of you are never, ever shared on the internet. In fact, it’s a far more trustworthy method than sending your explicit photos to a company notorious for security and privacy problems. Two words:

Your move, America.


 

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Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

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