A website called lovely-faces.com managed to scrape 250,000 Facebook profiles. The people behind the website acquired Facebook profile information from public profiles on Facebook and placed them on their dating website. Using special software, they scraped nearly one million profiles of which they ended up with 250,000 after filtering each profile. They then used a facial recognition system called face-to-facebook.net to categorize them into groups. What this proves is that it’s very easy for Facebook profiles to be extracted and used by someone else for all sorts of purposes including identity fraud and defamation.
It’s reasonably easy to find scraping software to do this, and with Facebook you don’t really need to search any other website. No other website on planet Earth (500m users and counting) collects the amount of “personal life data” that Facebook does – it’s also realtime too. Facebook also knows the value of your data – so do the fraudsters, hackers and online marketeers.
If you find your profile on this website then notify the website that you want to be removed. They claim they will remove your profile data. Facebook are investigating and take scraping very seriously. This will not be the end of profile scraping. It is only the beginning.
Safe surfing folks!