back to article Facebook's send-us-your-nudes service is coming to UK, America

Facebook has begun conducting a pilot where it solicits intimate photographs of women – and it will soon offer the service in the United Kingdom as well as the US. Anxious exes who fear their former partner is set on revenge porn will be urged to upload photographs of themselves nude. A hash of the nude image is created and …

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Worthless?

      Let's not get technical about this and point out the obvious.

      Edit: Sorry I need to add sarcasm due to past mistakes.

      Water is wet, cheese is yellow, Donald Trump is a really nice fellow, he talks he tweets but really he just talks sheet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: Worthless?

      I have to crop my nudes, just saying.

      Mines the dirty one with hole in the pockets

    3. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Worthless?

      This is why it should use something like PhotoDNA, which is resistant to minor image alterations such as cropping, brightness/contrast adjustment, etc.

    4. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Re: Worthless?

      It's not a simple filehash.

      We've had TinEye - capable of taking an input image and finding cropped variations across the net - for years and years. It's developed in the meantime, but this is far from new technology.

      The hashing is based (AIUI) on the variation between pixels in "key" locations (of which there are more than a few), so cropping the image won't help. Even contrast tweaks have to be fairly extreme to throw it off.

      All that said, it's far from perfect.

    5. dnicholas Bronze badge

      Re: But Angela has a working brain...

      The vast, vast majority of internet users don't read the reg. These mouth breathing, tracksuit wearing slobs access the internet almost exclusively via their credit bought iPads and iPhones and have zero clue about image editing that isn't Instagram filters. I imagine this hashing of images is amazingly effective on Facebook's platforms.

      /elitism

    6. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Worthless?

      "Whenever I upload a picture, I first crop and resize it. At that point what good is a hash of the original image?"

      I searched on an image the other day on Google and it not only returned the one I gave it, but also the same photo flipped horizontally and another one that was cropped. Recognition software is getting better all of the time.

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Yes

      And it made Edwin Land a fortune.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

      Google it out of work and you will find quite few hits.

    3. Robin Bradshaw

      Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

      Shadmeister, do you think polaroid were such a big company and made so much money because of the quality of the pictures they produced? Theres a reason digital cameras killed them :P

    4. rmason Silver badge

      Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

      "Or is this a lowering of standards, in correlation with the rise in stupidity, that causes nude photographs to become the norm, and now a problem ?

      Regards,

      Shadmeister."

      Shad,

      It's practically ubiquitous these days. Absolutely the norm with those of certain ages.

      Hence the requirement for such a law in the first place ("revenge porn" is an actual thing you can be charged with) and hence FB thinking it needs to do something like this.

      Schools have major issues with it, and beyond that age it's an overwhelming majority.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

        "Schools have major issues with it, and beyond that age it's an overwhelming majority."

        That under-age demographic is considered criminal in the eyes of the law for taking/having such pictures - even as selfies. Pre-emptively telling Facebook they have such things seems counter-productive - especially if Facebook are then obliged to inform the police.

    5. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

      It used to happen, but amateur nude photography was a minority hobby, at least among those without their own darkroom.

      When I was a student, one year I had a summer vacation job in the Kodak (NZ) slide mounting room. Since it was illegal to send nude pics through the post, Kodak had to pull any boxes of slides containing them and forward the box to the snapper's local cop shop for collection.

      This meant that those running the slide mounting machines were expected to spot any such photos and check them in a slide projector. Cue a yell of 'Got one!' and a general stampede in the direction of the projector and screen when anything was found.

      However during that summer break (6 or 8 weeks - I forget which) I only remember that happening two or three times on my shift.

    6. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

      > Serious question - how prevalent is the taking nude pictures of oneself, or the other half ?.

      I'm pretty sure the second ever Daguerreotype was a nude, the first being a test shot for the lighting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

        "I'm pretty sure the second ever Daguerreotype was a nude, the first being a test shot for the lighting."

        Go back further. Clerics in the church in Italy commissioned paintings of nudes for their private apartments - usually kept behind curtain drapes. Early sculptures were nudes. It was the Christian cultures who retrospectively added figurative fig leaves to classical sculptures - or even broke off the bits that offended*** them.

        ***turned them on

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

            Thanks for the replies. Your private parts were called exactly that, because they are private.

            Yes, but if people want to share them/images with selected people, they should be able to. This idea that willies or tits are somehow evil, and need to be kept hidden is f***ing Victorian, and the sort of judgemental crap-headedness that would fit right into certain bearded societies.

            Nudity will please some people, and appal others. But the naked body isn't anything that should by rights HAVE to be hidden.

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

              Re: How Prevalent is Nude Photography....

              "Cover up those table legs, mother, they're inflaming my sexual ardour."

    7. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Alastair Dodd 1

    Dumb

    Better idea, if you report an image has been shared why don't they hash that and warn the scum sharing it that they have broken the rules.

    I dunno actually policing their platform might be an idea... considering the amount of data they PUBLISH.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dumb

      "and warn the scum sharing it that they have broken the rules."

      Or tell the Police.

    2. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge

      Re: Dumb

      That's already in place, as mentioned in the article and reported here back in April:

      https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/06/facebooks_going_to_block_revenge_smut_with_ai_or_humans_or_both/

    3. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Dumb

      "Better idea, if you report an image has been shared why don't they hash that and warn the scum sharing it that they have broken the rules."

      "That has been shared".. past tense.

      Surely you see the issue?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "they're not storing the image"

    *wipes away the tears of laughter* Seriously!?

    I can't imagine Facebook messing that one up, they have such a brilliant track record, and of course never suddenly change their terms and conditions at all(!)

    Whatever happened to NOT allowing people to snap nudes of you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "they're not storing the image"

      "Whatever happened to NOT allowing people to snap nudes of you?"

      Now you went and applied common sense to the situation...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The only way this will be resolved is if they become responsible for the content published like newspapers and all other media are.

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Another wee problemette...

    Assume person A and person B are an item and person B takes a nudie photo of person A with the consent (or otherwise) of person A. Now, if A and |B split up and person B is crass enough to want to spam the web with said photo of A, how does A upload a photo of themselves, (which exists only on B's phone) for Zuk to drool over?

    And what if they have a whole portfolio of piccies?

    This one ain't going to fly, is it?

    1. Pete 2 Silver badge

      Re: Another wee problemette...

      > how does A upload a photo of themselves, (which exists only on B's phone) for Zuk to drool over?

      And how does anyone who wishes to have a photo "hashed" prove that they are the person in the photo.

      Would you have to send a copy of your passport - and hope Google doesn't hash that one by mistake.

    2. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Another wee problemette...

      shame I can only upvote once.

      This, this this.

      If I have a naked photo of my wife, and we become "no longer married" and decide to use it in such a way, who has that photo?

      Me of course, it's on my phone, isn't it!

      1. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: Another wee problemette...

        Again, a little common sense goes a long way.

        Of course in the situation you describe it doesn't help..

        But in other scenarios it does, so for example if a partner sends me a picture of their bits and we later split up I cannot then upload that picture.

        Given that it's fairly common to exchange nudes nowadays it's certainly useful.

      2. strum Silver badge

        Re: Another wee problemette...

        >If I have a naked photo of my wife, and we become "no longer married" and decide to use it in such a way, who has that photo?

        If you upload it to t'internet and she sees it there, she now has a copy of it, to send to Zuck.

    3. F Seiler

      Re: Another wee problemette...

      FB could only use the uploaded nude as an authorization token (face-checked against existing tagged photos or some such) to block all nudes tagged with your profile name on other profiles. After the outcry, version 2 would then give you the opportunity to allow select profiles to post nudes of you again.

  6. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anyone used Googles "image matching" ?

    just saying ?

    1. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Anyone used Googles "image matching" ?

      I have.

      It has a huge number of false matches, but does most times allow me to manually find the artist of a well known cropped painting. Amazing though how often the sites higher in ranking have wrong attribution of artist or that Google offers matches that are not remotely similar.

      It can be very poor on logos, which is odd.

      It's rubbish if the image isn't on many web sites.

  8. Dave 32
    Pint

    Hash?

    So, the sender edits the image, and tweaks the value of one pixel off in the corner, and now the hash is completely different, which completely defeats the system. That's how hashes work. This has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of. Oh, wait, maybe not the dumbest, if some guy is wanting a bunch of nudes sent to him.

    Dave

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Hash?

      Or maybe (as others are suggesting), "hash" is just sloppy shorthand for what would actually be some kind of image recognition function? I gather Google has quite a good implementation?

      That said, I've never really played with image recognition myself until recently. I have been trying it out using digiKam against my home photos. Not impressed so far - it has quite a lot of false positives just when trying to recognise what constitutes a "face" (even when I turn the "accuracy" right up), and one of the first tests I gave it - some shots of a railway station taken from the bridge, please find similar photos - it failed spectacularly, completely missing even near-identical shots in the same folder.

      Anybody have any hints?

      M.

    2. Rimpel

      Re: Hash?

      It's not just a hash of the file. According to the article in ahem the guardian which has significantly more information than this article, it does use Photo DNA whose ' “hash” matching technology made it possible to identify known illegal images even if someone had altered them'

      At least soon facebook will have all of the 'necessary hashtags'.

    3. Flakk Silver badge

      Re: Hash?

      So, the sender edits the image, and tweaks the value of one pixel off in the corner, and now the hash is completely different, which completely defeats the system.

      To satisfy my curiosity, I succeeded in changing the hash value of an image I downloaded from a website merely by opening and then saving it with an image editor. I didn't have to modify any pixels at all.

      This whole proposition seems like a bizarre social experiment dreamed up by Facebook's BOFH to determine the depth of the userbase's "Peak Stupidity".

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Hash?

        To satisfy my curiosity, I succeeded in changing the hash value of an image I downloaded from a website merely by opening and then saving it with an image editor. I didn't have to modify any pixels at all.

        That won't affect the software they're using.

        If you're patient enough to try it, get the original indexed by TinEye.

        Then reverse search your "modified" one. Then crop it and try again, then change some pixels and try again.

        You will most likely find that TinEye correctly returns the original every time. When they say hashing, they don't mean filehashes.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I get a job?

    Most wanted job on the web - receiver of naughty pics at Facebook!

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Can I get a job?

      "It's $100 a week."

      "Isn't that a bit low?"

      "Yeah, but it's all I could afford."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uploading another person's intimate pictures seems not unknown amongst teenagers - either out of spite or stupidity. Are all the teenagers going to pre-emptively have their own pictures hashed - just in case they "escape" though someone else?

    Would that make Facebook guilty of handling such apparently under-age pictures? Would Facebook report the owner to the police? Apparently such digital selfies are still illegal - especially if transferred over a network.

  11. Adrian 4 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Watermarking

    Maybe You could get a barcode printed on your skin. Then FB could just reject anything with that barcode.

  12. Peter Galbavy
    FAIL

    Now upload non smut trademarked stuff etc...

    Erm, what stops someone uploading pics (or rather hashes of pics) of famous landmarks, London buses, brand like coke cans?

    I see nothing that could go wrong. Nope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now upload non smut trademarked stuff etc...

      Clearly a case of fake-nudes

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Now upload non smut trademarked stuff etc...

      "Erm, what stops someone uploading pics (or rather hashes of pics) of famous landmarks, London buses, brand like coke cans?"

      Technology mostly.

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    This will surely only work if the person in the photos has a copy of the photos to upload to create the hashes and that the posting the 'revenge porn' does not alter images in any way.

    Even sophisticated filtering software can be by passed by rotating the image through a few degrees, altering the contrast/brightness or cropping then adding a patterned border etc.

    This sounds more like a PR campaign than something that is really going to stop a person determined to cause someone distress by upload images.

  14. Harry Stottle

    Photo DNA cannot be as reliable as they boast

    It's an educated guess, because I don't claim inside knowledge.

    But I reach that conclusion on the basis that they're not making it freely available for home use. To be fair, it doesn't look like Microsoft have anything but honorable motives on this occasion (although I would question their own security - if the FBI comes calling are they in a position NOT to release such images?) (one of the many questions Facebook will also have to answer)

    They make the software available in various cloud offerings and have donated it to a Missing Child charity amongst others. So why aren't they simply allowing us all to download a copy and do our own hashing and upload the results instead of the image - as suggested in the first post on this thread (John Robson)

    I can think of only two possible explanations. First is that the process is so power hungry, you'd need a Bitcoin mining rig to run it. That doesn't look feasible from what I've read about the process. Looks like it might take about as long as creating a couple of thousand hashes. Under a second on most desktops.

    The second is that they don't want it in our sticky little hands because it would relatively trivial to find ways to modify target images in such a way that they wouldn't be detected, so to preserve the value of the service, they don't want the great unwashed to access it.

    In short, they're relying on "Security Through Obscurity" and, like most such attempts, that'll work for a few months, until the obscurity is cracked...

    Oh, and by the way, the (partial )solution to sharing intimate private images is sharing one time keys which BOTH/ALL parties have to re-combine to access the images/data (as outlined in Digital Telepathy)

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