Facebook, for better or for worse, remains one of the primary ways people communicate with each other online. So it should come as no surprise that India, with somewhere around 450 million internet users, is one of Facebook's primary markets. Today the company announced that a test pilot program has begun in India, focusing on increased control over user profile pictures.
Facebook said in a blog post, "In India, we’ve heard that people want more control over their profile pictures, and we’ve been working over the past year to understand how we can help." To this end, a new Profile Picture Guard is being rolled out to some people. When this is enabled by the Facebook user, other people cannot save the profile picture, nor take a screenshot of it or tag it (unless you are the friends with the person).
Of course, none of these methods are 100% effective. It's pretty simple to take a picture of a phone screen, or use root methods that circumvent the screenshot block. This also seems limited to the mobile app; blocking screenshots from the mobile or desktop site would be impossible.
Still, Facebook points out that this is meant to deter people from saving the profile picture, not serve as a complete solution. According to the company's preliminary tests, at least 75% of users are less likely to copy a protected profile picture. For now, this test is still limited to India, with no announced date for trials in other countries.
- Facebook Newsroom