Facebook tests feature that prevents copying of profile picture

Posted 22 June 2017 17:17 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

Facebook is currently testing a feature in India that should make it harder to make copies of profile pictures of users of the social network. The ‘profile picture guard’ has to be manually¬†enabled and should make sure that profile pictures can’t be easily downloaded and shared on Facebook.

The feature is first tested in India because many women there don’t use their face on their profile picture because they fear it gets stolen, Facebook writes in a blog.

With the feature enabled, others can no longer download, share or send the profile picture in a Facebook message. It’s also no longer possible for users, that are not friends ,to tag anyone in the profile picture. Facebook also claims that the ‘profile picture guard’ also prevents taking screenshots of profile pictures on Facebook. However, this is currently only supported on Android.

Users that have the ‘profile picture guard’ enabled can be identified by a blue border and shield around their profile picture.

Facebook’s first tests indicate that profile pictures protected by the feature are 75% less likely to be copied. In case profile pictures are copied nevertheless, Facebook will remove the person doing so from its social network.


It’s unknown whether the feature will also become available to users outside India.

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