Secure Photo Sharing in Social Networks

Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 502)


Nowadays, in an ubiquitous world where everything is connected to the Internet and where social networks play an important role in our lives, security and privacy is a must. Billions of pictures are uploaded daily to social networks and, with them, parts of our private life are disclosed. In this work, we propose a practical solution for secure photo sharing on social network with independence of its architecture which can be either centralised or distributed. This solution solves the inconsistencies that appear in distributed social network as a consequence of treating photos and access policies separately. Specifically, we solve this open problem by attaching an access policy to the images and thus, each time a photo is re-shared, the access policy will travel together with the image.


Privacy Social networks Applied cryptography 


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Eftekhar, A., Fullwood, C., Morris, N.: Capturing personality from facebook photos and photo-related activities: how much exposure do you need? Comput. Hum. Behav. 37, 162–170 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Litt, E., Hargittai, E.: Smile, snap, and share? A nuanced approach to privacy and online photo-sharing. Poetics 42, 1–21 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lobinger, K.: Photographs as things – photographs of things. A texto-material perspective on photo-sharing practices. Inf. Commun. Soc. 19(4), 475–488 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Malik, A., Dhir, A., Nieminen, M.: Uses and gratifications of digital photo sharing on facebook. Telematics Inform. 33(1), 129–138 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Liang, K., Liu, J.K., Lu, R., Wong, D.S.: Privacy concerns for photo sharing in online social networks. IEEE Internet Comput. 19(2), 58–63 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Taheri-Boshrooyeh, S., Küpçü, A., Özkasap, O.: Security and privacy of distributed online social networks. In: 2015 IEEE 35th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems Workshops, pp. 112–119, June 2015Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bronson, N., Amsden, Z., Cabrera, G., Chakka, P., Dimov, P., Ding, H., Ferris, J., Giardullo, A., Kulkarni, S., Li, H., et al.: Tao: Facebook’s distributed data store for the social graph. In: USENIX ATC 2013, pp. 49–60 (2013)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Nishtala, R., Fugal, H., Grimm, S., Kwiatkowski, M., Lee, H., Li, H.C., McElroy, R., Paleczny, M., Peek, D., Saab, P., Stafford, D., Tung, T., Venkataramani, V.: Scaling memcache at facebook. In: NSDI 2013, USENIX, pp. 385–398 (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Diaspora (2016).
  11. 11.
    Lewko, A., Waters, B.: Decentralizing attribute-based encryption. In: Paterson, K.G. (ed.) EUROCRYPT 2011. LNCS, vol. 6632, pp. 568–588. Springer, Heidelberg (2011). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-20465-4_31 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rouselakis, Y., Waters, B.: Efficient statically-secure large-universe multi-authority attribute-based encryption. In: Böhme, R., Okamoto, T. (eds.) FC 2015. LNCS, vol. 8975, pp. 315–332. Springer, Heidelberg (2015). doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-47854-7_19 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Waters, B.: Ciphertext-policy attribute-based encryption: an expressive, efficient, and provably secure realization. In: Catalano, D., Fazio, N., Gennaro, R., Nicolosi, A. (eds.) PKC 2011. LNCS, vol. 6571, pp. 53–70. Springer, Heidelberg (2011). doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-19379-8_4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Baden, R., Bender, A., Spring, N., Bhattacharjee, B., Starin, D.: Persona: an online social network with user-defined privacy. SIGCOMM Comput. Commun. Rev. 39(4), 135–146 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Buchegger, S., Schiöberg, D., Vu, L.H., Datta, A.: Peerson: P2P social networking: early experiences and insights. In: Workshop SNS ’09 (SNS 2009), pp. 46–52. ACM, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cutillo, L.A., Molva, R., Strufe, T.: Safebook: a privacy-preserving online social network leveraging on real-life trust. IEEE Commun. Magaz. 47(12), 94–101 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Nilizadeh, S., Jahid, S., Mittal, P., Borisov, N., Kapadia, A.: Cachet: a decentralized architecture for privacy preserving social networking with caching. In: CoNEXT 2012, pp. 337–348. ACM, New York (2012)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ra, M.R., Govindan, R., Ortega, A.: P3: toward privacy-preserving photo sharing. In: NSDI 2013, Lombard, IL, USENIX, pp. 515–528 (2013)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Yuan, L., Mc Nally, D., Küpçü, A., Ebrahimi, T.: Privacy-preserving photo sharing based on a public key infrastructure. In: SPIE Optical Engineering + Applications. Applications of Digital Image Processing XXXVIII (2015)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Zhang, L., Jung, T., Liu, C., Ding, X., Li, X.Y., Liu, Y.: POP: privacy-preserving outsourced photo sharing and searching for mobile devices. In: 2015 IEEE 35th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, pp. 308–317, June 2015Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Qian, H., Li, J., Zhang, Y., Han, J.: Privacy-preserving personal health record using multi-authority attribute-based encryption with revocation. Int. J. Inf. Secur. 14(6), 487–497 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Fong, P.W.: Relationship-based access control: protection model and policy language. In: CODASPY 2011, pp. 191–202. ACM (2011)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Pardo, R., Kellyérová, I., Sánchez, C., Schneider, G.: Specification of evolving privacy policies for online social networks. In: 23rd International Symposium on Temporal Representation and Reasoning (TIME), pp. 70–79 (2016)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pardo, R., Schneider, G.: A formal privacy policy framework for social networks. In: Giannakopoulou, D., Salaün, G. (eds.) SEFM 2014. LNCS, vol. 8702, pp. 378–392. Springer, Cham (2014). doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-10431-7_30 Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringUniversity of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringChalmers University of TechnologyGothenburgSweden

Personalised recommendations