Facial dataset programmer steals 40,000 selfies

40,000 selfies of men and women from the San Francisco Bay area was taken from Tinder by a man called Stuart Colianna, in order to create a dataset called the “People of Tinder” for artificial intelligence training reasons, reports TechCrunch.

The pictures were originally uploaded to Kaggle, a platform for predictive modelling and analytics competitions, which is run by Google.

“Having worked with facial datasets in the past, I have often been disappointed. The datasets tend to be extremely strict in their structure, and are usually too small,” says Colianni on a GitHub scraper script.

“Tinder gives you access to thousands of people within miles of you. Why not leverage Tinder to build a better, larger facial dataset.”

Internet and data privacy implications

Identifiable information from multiple datasets is a breach of privacy legislation in many countries.

“We take the security and privacy of our users seriously and have tools and systems in place to uphold the integrity of our platform. It’s important to note that Tinder is free and used in more than 190 countries, and the images that we serve are profile images, which are available to anyone swiping on the app. We are always working to improve the Tinder experience and continue to implement measures against the automated use of our API, which includes steps to deter and prevent scraping,” says Tinder, in a statement to the privacy stealer.

“This person has violated our terms of service and we are taking appropriate action and investigating further.”

Edited from sources by Leah Alger