Have you ever shared a photo with a couple of friends and wondered what would happen if the photo went public? Have you submitted a picture to Facebook hoping that a particular person never sees it? Have you ever wondered why some pictures suddenly become viral and get to almost every computer around the globe?
This concern has been growing jointly with social networks, especially regarding Facebook. There are thousands of examples. Mark Zuckerberg even had the chance to experience that sometimes sharing may become over-sharing.
Social networks have increasingly included privacy options to prevent your content from going beyond the boundaries of your friends and family. However there are plenty of examples of partners, boyfriends, and even relatives using shared photos as vengeance by distributing them in a distrustful way or simply making a mistake in knowledge or judgment. Among some famous cases:
There's even a blog that collects cases of people that lost their jobs for posting something improper.
But what if you were able to secure even more boundaries established around your content? And what if we could find a way to make the content available to our friends, but in a way they could not save it to their computers, re-post it or even screen capture it? This was a question that a group of members of the Software and Services Group in Intel started to ask themselves repeatedly. Setting even a wider frame, the real challenge is finding a way to protect your online reputation and controlling your personal, professional or generally sensitive content to prevent sharing from becoming over-sharing.
We started to work on this premise and the first step in the process was to develop the first feature of the bigger plan. We decided to work with McAfee and capitalize on their knowledge in security and their expertise in privacy towards the end consumer. The first feature we launched on August 28 was photo protection on Facebook. The name of the product is McAfee Social Protection(beta).
In the coming months we will be including more features with the aim of making your “digital social life” more safe and healthy. Right now the photo protection app for Facebook gives users a safe platform to share photos without worrying about them going viral or having them uploaded onto the Internet by someone else. Only friends who have been granted access can view photos, but even friends are unable to share, copy, print or take screenshots of them. Those that have not been granted access will not be able to view the photos. McAfee Social Protection is offered as a Facebook app together with a browser plug-in and lets users select which friends have access to their photos and makes pictures appear blurry to everyone else. For selected friends the photos will be displayed properly once those friends have installed the app, creating a second layer of protection.