PhotoSafer: Content-Based and Context-Aware Private Photo Protection for Smartphones

by   Ang Li, et al.

Nowadays many people store photos in smartphones. Many of the photos contain sensitive, private information, such as a photocopy of driver's license and credit card. An arising privacy concern is with the unauthorized accesses to such private photos by installed apps. Coarse-grained access control systems such as the Android permission system offer all-or-nothing access to photos stored on smartphones, and users are unaware of the exact behavior of installed apps. Our analysis finds that 82 app store have complete access to stored photos and network on a user's smartphone, which indicates possible private photo leakage. In addition, our user survey reveals that 87.5 certain apps can access their photos without informing users, and all the respondents believe that the stored photos on their smartphones contain different types of private information. Hence, we propose PhotoSafer, a content-based, context-aware private photo protection system for Android phones. PhotoSafer can detect private photos based on photo content with a well-trained deep convolutional neural network, and control access to photos based on system status (e.g., screen locked or not) and app-running status (e.g., app in the background). Evaluations demonstrate that PhotoSafer can accurately identify private photos in real time. The efficacy and efficiency of the implemented prototype system show the potential for practical use.


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