Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Courting site takes information from Facebook without asking

Zuckerberg once got in trouble at Harvard for stealing co-ed data from university servers to create FaceMash. He was charged with various offenses that bordered on identity theft. That was 2003, but Wired reports that today, a couple of activists with an internet dating site want Zuckerberg to learn something about information protection. Cirio and Alessandro Ludovico, founders of courting website Lovely Faces, scraped 250,000 Facebook profiles for names, pictures and locations in order to get their website off the ground. Facebook is displeased the duo did not ask for authorization, and the business may be preparing to sue. Facebook already makes so much money that they likely will not need quick personal loans to take this business to court. – Take ‘em and tag ‘em

Lovely Faces takes user data off of Facebook and photographs of males and females to be able to put them into categories such as "easy going," "smug," and "sly" without any kind of authorization. Cirio and Ludovico are worried about the legality of it all. This is because they used Facebook user's real names as well. Their claim, according to Wired, is that Lovely Faces isn’t a business venture, but art which challenges the notion that people should feel comfortable with sharing personal information via online social media.

"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," write the Lovely Faces founders on Face to Facebook. "And (we’ll see) how fragile enormous capitalization based on exploiting social systems can be."

The cracks inherent in the system is what Cirio and Ludovico are trying to do with Facebook and other social networks. They are hoping to make the networks crumble from over-hyped stock evaluations just like in the early 2000s when the bubble burst stopping several dot coms.

How Lovely Faces makes Facebook feel about it

Barry Schnitt, the Director of Policy Communications at Facebook, insists that scraping user information violates the social network’s terms of service. is getting investigated by Facebook before legal action happens. After 100 million Facebook user names and profile addresses were released by the online protection research firm called Skill Protection, Facebook sued them. Zuckerberg and business might sue again.

Articles cited

Face to Facebook

New York Times


Dating on Facebook with Flyness: No illegal action required

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