Monday, February 7, 2011

Fake Dating Site Lifts Pictures And Names from Facebook -- Without Asking

From the San Francisco Chronicle ...

A pair of artists gathered the public profiles of more than 1 million Facebook users, then took the pictures and created a fake dating site called Lovely-Faces.com.

Users can search based on nationality, traits like "easy going," and gender, or can simply enter a name and see if they're in the database. When users click a result to "arrange a date," they're taken to the person's public Facebook profile.

The site scraped Facebook data without permission, and the company told Wired that it's not amused and will "take appropriate action."

Basically, it looks like an awkward commentary on the shallowness of online dating profiles and Facebook's confusing privacy policies, but violating privacy to make a point about privacy doesn't work very well.The artists, Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico, tried to explain their point in a press release issued yesterday (PDF here), but it's basically a bunch of gibberish -- or maybe that's part of the art.

4 comments:

ladydia1011 said...

I am not surprise to hear something about Facebook and how people are creating the weirdest things to hack someone's profile . With all the technology taking over the world it gives hackers the ability to enter someone's privacy. 1 million Facebook profiles were filtered with face recognition then posting them on dating website. That is completely unnecessary and taking things over the edge. For my understanding, why are people even creating these profiles and accepted them as new friends. People need to take precaution of protecting themselves using Facebook. I must say lovely faces was a creative idea for some to be face to face with anybody who is attracted by their facial expression. I am a person that becomes very suspicious of people on Facebook and ignore friend request to people i personally don't know. People needs to be more educated on how to protect themselves on the internet before something terrible happens to them.

Elizabeth Buffone said...

I have been nervous about things like this happening for a while. Recently, there was a slideshow made for the senior auction. The pictures that were used in it were taken off people's facebook profiles without their consent. Some of these pictures included me (a freshman) with my senior brother. Even though these pictures are on facebook, I thought that the general community felt like there is an unspoken bond that says that they will remain on facebook. Unfortunately, from what I am hearing from this article and my own experiences, I have come to learn that this is not the case. I do not think that it is fair for pictures to be taken off facebook and put into another context without the person's permission. But since there are no privacy laws currently in place to protect against this, I guess it is just a scary reality that we all face that our facebook photos could literally pop up anywhere at any time.

Mary T. said...

Although I disagree with the dating site's actions, the artists did nothing legally wrong. This article illustrates how legislation has yet to catch up with technology. If a photographer wants to publish pictures of minors, he/she must obtain a signed photo release from their legal guardians. I think a similar standard should be applied to the internet, and laws should require websites to obtain consent from people before using their photographs.

Shelby Bartemy said...

Like Elizabeth, I have also had similar experiences involving the usage of Facebook photos in unintended contexts. I have seen my private Facebook photos appear in various school newspapers, school slideshows, and even outside websites without my consent. They were accessed by people who were Facebook friends with me and thus, able to view and copy the photos. I was a little bothered that my Facebook pictures from my "Private" profile were displayed in such a public context without my explicit permission. However, after taking this class I have realized the sad reality that nothing I post on the internet is truly private and will always remain permanent; and thus, I should almost prepare myself for my pictures to be used in a public fashion. Because my information is being proliferated everywhere through my Facebook community of friends, I should have realized that my various private and public identities would end up merging together. This proliferation will only increase as Moore's law allows us to steadily view more and more of each other's information online, especially as people become more willing to share. This realization of risk should prevent users from sharing online content that they do not wish to be spread. However, most users are unaware of these risks and still continue to share - resulting in negatively affecting their academic and employment worlds as their social persona is exposed. There have been a number of cases that provide evidence of these negative results, such as the teacher who was fired for having a Facebook photo of her drinking wine or the college athlete who lost his scholarship for pictures of underage drinking. Yet, despite these risks, we still continue to share. Does social media really mean that much to us? Does every picture from our last party really need to be thrown around on Facebook? These are questions that Facebook users need to wrestle with, while taking their privacy into account. This article about the fake dating site only further illustrates the proliferation problem that Facebook users are facing, with evidence of little awareness.