Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico have stolen personal information from 250,000 Facebook users, including their pictures, to create a dating site called Lovely-Faces, which uses face-recognition technology to categorise users simply by looking at them.
Except they didn’t. Because the two claim in a chat with Face to Facebook that they carried out the whole identity theft as a “social experiment”.
Cirio and Ludovico explained to Face to Facebook that Lovely-Faces was created to prove how easy it is to steal identities online, and how unscrupulous companies can take advantage of this information, without needing Facebook’s permission. Kind of ironic when you think back to the scene from the movie ‘The Social Network’, where Mark Zuckerberg is depicted as stealing people’s pictures from Harvard’s online database to create Facebook.
Lovely-Faces has promised to remove anyone who wants their picture taken off the site, which is nice, though it might have been a little more useful if they were to inform you that you are on their site in the first place.
“Scraping people’s information violates our terms,” Facebook’s Director of Policy Communications, Barry Schnitt, told Wired. “We have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive legal action against organisations that violate these terms. We’re investigating this site and will take appropriate action,” he added.
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