Dating site uses pictures, names of 250,000 unsuspecting Facebook users

Saturday, February 5, 2011

LONDON - A dating site has taken the personal information of 250,000 Facebook users and reproduced it without their knowledge.

The creators of, Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovic, use the names and photos of Facebook members and then give users the option to “arrange a date” with the unsuspecting volunteers.

It then leads the users to the original Facebook profile page of the person.

The unsuspecting people have even been grouped into categories, such as “Smug Women” and “Climber Men”, on the site, which is apparently an art project to highlight the dangers of social networking sites.

Both the creators have tried to justify their actions by claiming that the site is a merely a bid to magnify the breach of privacy permitted by Facebook.

“Facebook, an endlessly cool place for so many people, becomes at the same time a goldmine for identity theft and dating - unfortunately, without the user’s control,” the Daily Mail quoted a statement on their website as saying.

“But that’s the very nature of Facebook and social media in general.

“If we start to play with the concepts of identity theft and dating, we should be able to unveil how fragile a virtual identity given to a proprietary platform can be,” it stated.

Bosses at Facebook have hit out at the “scraping” of profiles - taking information available from members who haven’t adjusted their security settings to block non-friends seeing what they post - on their own site.

“Scraping people’s information violates our terms. We have taken, and will continue to take, aggressive legal action against organisations that violate these terms,” Facebook’s director of policy communications, Barry Schnitt, told (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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