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  #1  
Old 07 November 2017, 10:55 PM
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Default Facebook asks users for nude photos in project to combat revenge porn

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...rn-nude-photos

Quote:
Facebook is asking users to send the company their nude photos in an effort to tackle revenge porn, in an attempt to give some control back to victims of this type of abuse.
Well I certainly can't see any problems with that idea...

(The idea is to create a hash from the photos, and then prevent anybody else uploading a photo which hashes to the same value. I assume that these days there must be ways to hash the image so that it comes out the same even if you crop, resize, tweak the colour and so on - otherwise that would be trivial to get around anyway. It does say that there are, but I wonder how reliable that is?)
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  #2  
Old 07 November 2017, 11:52 PM
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Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Dartmouth who helped develop PhotoDNA, described Facebook’s pilot as a “terrific idea”.
He seems very enthusiastic. Nice to see someone so committed to their work.
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  #3  
Old 08 November 2017, 12:11 AM
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I guess it wouldn't be a hash because that would be kind of useless. Typically a hash changes completely with a change in just one bit. I think they can save it as some kinds of attributes that aren't reversible. Then the ai learns which characteristics are typical of the nudes vs the clothed, or whatever the general set is, that's also been stored that way. If they want to keep the photos 100% private then they could send do the conversion in the browser before it's sent. But then they need to be sure that whatever they're being sent is the type of photo the contributor says it is. That's a bit of a conundrum. (This is not a new problem... nor are nudes images so rare. So you have to wonder why they suddenly need them. Maybe something about the type they need? Dunno)
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  #4  
Old 08 November 2017, 03:19 AM
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Another, more sinister possibility is that FB is making a move to corner the market on the hotdog / not hotdog recognition market. I smell a patent suit.
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  #5  
Old 08 November 2017, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganzfeld View Post
I guess it wouldn't be a hash because that would be kind of useless. Typically a hash changes completely with a change in just one bit.
Just to give an example for ganz's point:

- we have plenty of IT filters and defences on our main networks and email
- soldiers will find a way to bypass these email filters
- we had one filter that would not allow "raw" training imagery from our equipment pass through. It would be in jpg format 1000x900 at 32 bit resolution (or something like that, nothing outrageous)
- but, to get past the filter, we "converted it" to exactly the same dimensions and resolution
- to the naked eye there was no difference
- but the email filters allowed them

I am certain that if there is some aspect of this that will deal with filters, someone will quickly and easily find a way to defeat the defence.

And the worst case scenario is a data breach. There are enough breaches with usernames, account numbers and passwords. I would not feel comfortable having a library or database with images of me waiting to be hacked.
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  #6  
Old 08 November 2017, 11:15 AM
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Yes, I agree that "hash" in the strict sense is the wrong word, but it's the word the article used.

I guess that if it's going to work, it would have to work on some ratio between identifiable points on the specific photo that's sent in, that won't alter even if all the colours are changed or it's resized or rotated or whatever. Face recognition works in a similar way. You could call the resulting number a hash but it wouldn't be the traditional sort. And I'm sure it would still be possible to get round it with a bit of experimentation to work out what they were looking at.

They're not trying to identify nude photos in general, ganzfeld - the idea is that it would block the specific nude photos they'd been sent. They also wouldn't (at least, in their ideal world) be keeping the photos themselves, UEL, although obviously that is an issue in itself since the "ideal" there is one that's easily broken...! A data breach under those circumstances would be embarrassing for Facebook because it would be presented as "Facebook loses customers' nude photo data!!!!!" but it wouldn't actually contain the nude photos, or any way to recreate them, in itself. The distinction always gets lost, though; whenever there's a data breach at a retailer the news reports always make a big deal of "credit card data!!!" even though, except in the most egregious cases (Lush a few years ago, for one) there's no usable data or card numbers in there, assuming the company complies with the regulations and common sense standards. It's the idea of it that worries people.

The last company I worked for held secure customer data (not credit card numbers; we were PCI compliant and not stupid), and although most employees aren't meant to have access to the customer data and purchase records and so on, there are plenty that need them in specific cases, for example support staff and even developers who are trying to reproduce an issue that's only been seen on one specific order. Ideally support can identify the feature of the customer or order that caused the problem and send dummy data to the developer that also causes the issue, but sometimes (read: often because they don't always know how to and can be quite lazy - or busy, being charitable) that's not possible and it's easier and quicker for the developer just to use the actual data itself.

Anyway, the possible ease of getting round it is not the first of the problems I can see with the idea, and even Facebook employees hijacking the data, or a data breach, isn't the extent of it! What about third parties taking advantage of the idea to harvest photos through a fake submission service? What about the bizarre idea that it would normalise having to send nude photos of yourself to organisations, in order to avoid being blamed when they display the same photos against your will?

Last edited by Richard W; 08 November 2017 at 11:27 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08 November 2017, 02:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
What about the bizarre idea that it would normalise having to send nude photos of yourself to organisations, in order to avoid being blamed when they display the same photos against your will?
The purpose of submitting nude photos is that it would allow Facebook to automatically prevent someone else from publishing those photos against your will.
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  #8  
Old 08 November 2017, 03:50 PM
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Yes, I know. Don't you find that a bizarre idea?
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  #9  
Old 08 November 2017, 03:52 PM
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I find it a bizarre idea. I think GenYus's point is that when pics are posted on FB against the subject's will, FB is merely the tool, not the perpetrator.
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  #10  
Old 08 November 2017, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Yes, I know. Don't you find that a bizarre idea?
Automatically recognizing nude images with a general "this is a nude" algorithm is going to have a lot of false positives and false negatives (especially if the revenge poster alters the image specifically in order to generate a false negative). Facebook can (and should) have appeal processes in both cases, but an appeal to have images removed will depend on the target of the revenge knowing that the images have been posted, which might not happen if the poster has unfriended her. And even then, the images would still have been posted.

So Facebook will add an extra layer of protection and one that (hopefully) never allows the images to be posted, that of recognizing specific photos because they have stored a pattern of that photo. Generally, the closer a comparison baseline is, the better the algorithm can correctly identify matches. The best comparison for revenge porn posting is the actual pictures.

It sounds bizarre at first, but (to me) if you identify the actual reason for it, it isn't bizarre at all. If you had sole custody of a child, you'd make sure that the day care had a picture of your ex as that would make it even more likely that they wouldn't release your child to the ex even though they should already be only releasing to listed persons.
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  #11  
Old 09 November 2017, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The purpose of submitting nude photos is that it would allow Facebook to automatically prevent someone else from publishing those photos against your will.
The theory behind this only works if you are aware of every nude photo of yourself that has ever been taken. I wasn't. My ex took nude photos of me without my knowledge or consent, and I didn't find out about them until 5 or 6 years later, when a mutual friend told me that ex-BF had shared the pics with him. So, for all I know, there could be more nudes of me out there that I still don't know about.

I suspect much revenge porn is of this secret voyeur variety, since the kind of person who posts revenge porn doesn't strike me as the kind of person who bothers to ask consent to begin with.
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  #12  
Old 09 November 2017, 03:12 AM
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I keep hearing Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar on SNL saying, "Yeah, this'll make you safer. Yeah, that's the ticket."
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  #13  
Old 09 November 2017, 03:35 AM
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So are they also going to ask for everyone's SSN and mother's maiden name in order to combat identity theft?
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  #14  
Old 09 November 2017, 04:03 AM
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I suspect the basic request has been garbled somewhat. Recognizing a person face is already extensively used by google and facebook (and half the gov'ts in the world) so that would be one part of the process. The second would be recognizing a nude photo. Put those two together and you can recognize nude photos of a person without needing nude photos of the person.

False positives and negatives? Probably. But as with most technologies of this kind getting it right most of the time is still a saleable product. Heck Google makes billions just getting things right a little more often than random guessing.
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  #15  
Old 09 November 2017, 10:56 AM
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Facebook must already have lots of photos of any given person, though. That idea does make a lot more sense, but all they would need for that would be a reference photo of your face, and an option for "don't let nude photos (of me) be uploaded".

They could deal with false positives and consent issues just by flagging when it happened and letting people approve pictures individually, and so on. It might run into difficulties with people standing in the background of beach photos and so on, but the issue of facial recognition in the photos of people who are complete strangers to each other is already there - Google can do that already, but doesn't in the UK or Europe thanks to data protection laws. I don't know whether they make it visible to users of the US version of their photo app, but it's obvious that the capability exists.

My brother uses an American proxy to access the app because he likes the feature, and once you've labelled a friend in one or two photos you've uploaded, you can search for the friend and find them in any photo to which you have access, whether they're labelled or not. It's clear that would extend to any picture in their database whether or not you have access to it, and that it's only the privacy settings stopping you from seeing people you know in the backgrounds of strangers' photos.
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  #16  
Old 09 November 2017, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
I find it a bizarre idea. I think GenYus's point is that when pics are posted on FB against the subject's will, FB is merely the tool, not the perpetrator.
Well if Facebook does post people's nudes without consent, calling them a tool would at least be accurate.

I'll see myself out thank you...
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  #17  
Old 09 November 2017, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crocoduck_hunter View Post
So are they also going to ask for everyone's SSN and mother's maiden name in order to combat identity theft?
That's what credit protection sites like Lifelock do. Well, not mother's maiden name, but that's because mother's maiden name isn't required to steal someone's credit. But the information they do ask for would be enough to steal your credit.

ETA: Cervus, that's horrible that someone violated your trust like that, but the rest of your story is what I was talking about earlier. Anything that could help block pictures before they are posted would have stopped all that. And I agree that someone that would post nudes without consent would also take them without consent. But if they already had some they would almost certainly use those.

So yes, the system they propose wouldn't be perfect. But it could help in some situations. If they create enough methods that would help in some situations, they might be able to block the vast majority of them.
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  #18  
Old 09 November 2017, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post



Well I certainly can't see any problems with that idea...

Nope, neither do I!

Couldn't the same photo be sent out under different names? For example Dawn's Naked!; Dawnznaked; Dawnsnaked, etc.
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  #19  
Old 13 November 2017, 10:33 AM
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Default Sending in our nude photos to fight revenge porn? No thanks, Facebook

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...hanks-facebook

Quote:
A New York-based lawyer is quoted by the Guardian as saying she is “delighted that Facebook is trying to solve this problem”.

This level of trust in Facebook from both her and our e-safety commissioner is impressive. As someone who spends their time online, I’m perhaps more cynical.
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