In a move to ensure safety of women and identity theft in India, social networking website Facebook has rolled out a new feature which gives users more control over their profile pictures. The feature was rolled out by the website after working on the solution over the past year.
In a post written by Facebook Product Manager Aarati Soman, Facebook is piloting new tools that give people in India more control over who can download and share their profile pictures. In addition, the company is also exploring ways where people can more easily add designs to profile pictures.
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.
As per research conducted by Facebook and a few safety organisations in India, 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.
“Today, we are piloting new tools that give people in India more control over who can download and share their profile pictures. In addition, we’re exploring ways people can more easily add designs to profile pictures, which our research has shown helpful in deterring misuse,” wrote Ms. Soman in her post.
“Based on what we learn from our experience in India, we hope to expand to other countries soon,” she added.
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.
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
- People you’re not friends with on Facebook won’t be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture
- Where possible, we’ll prevent others from taking a screenshot of your profile picture on Facebook, which is currently available only on Android devices
- We’ll display a blue border and shield around your profile picture as a visual cue of protection