Facebook profile guard
Facebook formulates new tools to prevent misuse of profile photos in IndiaFacebook

Facebook is formulating new tools to give Indian users more control over their profile pictures in order to prevent misuse. Users will now have better control over who can download and share their profile pictures, besides the ability to easily add designs to protect profile photos.

Based on the information gathered from user experience in India, Facebook hopes to expand these features to other countries.

"In our research with people and safety organisations in India, we have heard that some women choose not to share profile pictures that include their faces anywhere on the Internet because they are concerned about what may happen to their photos," wrote Aarati Soman, Product Manager at Facebook, in her recent post.

"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," she added.

These new Facebook tools aimed at women safety and prevention of identity theft are being developed in association with Indian safety organisations like Centre for Social Research, Learning Links Foundation, Breakthrough and Youth Ki Awaaz.

Facebook profile photos
Facebook offers more control over profile photos in IndiaFacebook

Facebook users in India will soon have access to a step-by-step guide to add an optional profile picture guard. The use of picture guard on profile photos will enable the following safety measures:

  • Other people will no longer be able to download, share or send the profile picture in a message on Facebook
  • People you are not friends with on Facebook won't be able to tag anyone, including themselves, in your profile picture
  • Wherever possible, it prevents others from taking a screenshot of your profile picture on Facebook, which is currently available only on Android devices
  • It will display a blue border and shield around your profile picture as a visual cue of protection

Facebook has reportedly partnered with Jessica Singh, an illustrator who took inspiration from traditional Indian textile designs such as bandhni and kantha, to create designs for people that can be added to their profile picture.