Categories: News

Tinder Investigating After 40,000 Pictures Taken From Site

Tinder is investigating an incident in which over 40,000 user facial pictures were downloaded by a programmer and shared on the internet.

The data obtained by the programmer is now offline, however, it was mostly thought to have affected users based in the California region (although activity outside this area is not confirmed).

The man in question who did this, Stuart Colianni, created a program to specifically download facial images for use in his machine learning research. He said that: “Tinder gives you access to thousands of people within miles of you, why not leverage Tinder to build a better, larger facial dataset?”.

Whilst it is thought that the data was obtained to help develop facial recognition software, Stuart Colianni has yet to confirm or deny this, likely due to legal implications.

The disturbing world of online dating profiles. The face has been changed (just in case you didn’t notice).

Tinder has responded to this by stating that they would continue to implement measures “against the automated use” of its user interface in order “to deter and prevent scraping”.

Whilst in itself this data capture may not represent too much of a concern (except perhaps to those users who are married or already seeing someone) it should be noted that many user profile images will likely also be found on their social media accounts and therefore this information could link far beyond Tinder and into some invasive areas to reveal personal data.

While in this instance the feeling is that this was done for benign purposes, it does expose yet another concern for the security of your details online, even within remits where the users deliberate wish to share them, but within a specific format.

Mike Sanders

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