Facebook recently introduced a new tool to prevent your images from being stolen.

Does Facebook Hold the Key to Identity Theft Protection?

By Taylor Chernisky on Aug 15, 2017
Facebook Image Shield
Facebook is the biggest consumer market in the world, in front of both India and China, with its 2.2 billion users. The sheer number of people who use it makes Facebook one of the biggest corporations in the world, and it yields a power that even some the strongest governments do not have. However, even though it is technically free to have an account, users pay with their data that they produce. Beyond just being able to feed users targeted content by exploiting their data, and consequently monetizing it, in the wrong hands, that data is prone to be misused without the owner's knowledge. The Cambridge Analytica Scandal that Facebook has been struggling with in recent weeks is a good example. Millions of users' information have been accessed without their knowledge or consent and used to influence them during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

This breach of security and trust comes as just less than a year ago, Facebook announced measures to increase security and data integrity by stopping things like catfishing from occurring on its platform. New security layers allowed users to add a safety guard to their profile picture, which would prevent others from downloading, sharing, or sending another person’s picture via Facebook message. Photos that have been protected show a blue border and shield on them.

But just how effective are Facebook's security measures?

Francisco Cipolla-Ficarra, editor of Optimizing Human-Computer Interaction With Emerging Technologies, recently took some time to share his opinions on Facebook's software. He states:

“At the start, it will work but after some time it may decay. Everything depends on the behavior of those who daily attempt against the freedom and equality among the human beings. For instance, in many places of the south of Europe it is the very same staff of the universities who devote themselves to the sabotage of the freedom of action of honest citizens in the real life or the virtual communities, since they aren't workers who must periodically renew their contracts because in the Old World they are lifelong civil servants. The term civil servant in many places of those geographic areas means being immune to the legal system of the rest of the citizens, especially when they use the computers from the servers of the universities. The technology (software and/or hardware) hasn't been invented yet to equate them to the rest of the human beings. In other words, legally they are and will be above the rest of the human beings.”

Where else could it be implemented?

If this technology is able to prevent individuals from stealing photos from the Internet, the possibilities that this software could enable in other applications is virtually endless.

“The usefulness in other applications in its initial stage can be very interesting, especially among the kids, teenagers and youth, usual victims of bullying, to mention an example. The same happens with the adults, to help in cases of stalking, although in the latter case if a scientific community consents or naively can promote that kind of behaviour in the internet, the rest of the real and virtual community appears totally in a state of total vulnerability in the face of the harm done in moral, health, economic or financial terms,” explains Dr. Cipolla-Ficarra.

He clarifies, stating that “The problem of the tutoring of the copyright is very complicated to solve, especially when one has to face castes, lobbies and the rest of the denominations of those pressure groups who for centuries work at attempting against the daily coexistence of thousands of people across our planet. Our modest experience leads us to call them "The G Factor" (the G stands for Garduña). In the face of such factor little or nothing can be done from the point of view of the new information and communication technologies (NITCs) because it has existed for centuries. In 1990, with the momentum of the term "multimedia" and the democratization of the internet, the idea of turning “every computer, tablet PC, iPhone, etc., user into an editor” has been fulfilled in our days. To such extent that the universities in the south of Europe, through the financial subsidies of the member states or the UE, keep on generating containers (databases) for multimedia educational contents, but almost nobody makes seriously and professionally contents for children and adolescent education in the public schools, for instance.”

While this tool could be used to prevent your photos from being stolen, it boils down to the fact that if an individual wants your information – whether that is your pictures or your personal, private information – they will stop at nothing to ensure that they get it.

Dr. Cipolla-Ficarra adds “The problem of all technologies lies always in their use. With the passing of time, it has been seen how the democratization of the internet and the increase in the quality of the interactive communications or communicability were born as factors with a positive sign. However, the G factor, with a negative value, makes an old mathematic equation be met: "plus x less equals less". Regrettably, because of the fault of a few devoted to debauchery, we are losing the freedom of access to information. Part of these current ills stem from the wild mercantilism of college education in a myriad of places. They may have all the ethical codes of the universe, but reality shows that its current or potential professionals act like real destroyers of the noble scientific advances in the computer science and NICT’s domain, aimed at the common good of all the users of online and off-line interactive multimedia.”
We extend a sincere thanks to Dr. Cipolla-Ficarra for his input on this matter. For further information on online and information security, please review the publications below:

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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