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February 6, 2011

Dating Sites Caught Using Facebook Photos

A brand new dating website launched Friday makes its mark by allowing visitors to seek potential mates by searching through profile pictures the site owners jacked from Facebook.

The site, Lovely-faces.com, took an estimated 250,000 pictures from Facebook which can be searched in a number of different categories, including gender, race, funny and smug.

The creators of the "dating agency" were identified as Paolo Cirio and Alessandro Ludovic. In an online statement datelined in Berlin, the authors said: "Our mission was to give all these virtual identities a new shared place to expose themselves freely, breaking Facebook's constraints and boring social rules."

The two men explained that nearly a million "stolen" profile pictures were analyzed using facial recognition software that filtered the images by their expressions. "Immersing ourselves in the resulting database was a hallucinatory experience as we dove into hundreds of thousands of profile pictures and found ourselves intoxicated by the endless smiles, gazes and often leering expressions," the duo said.

"We established a new website (lovely-faces.com) giving them justice and granting them the possibility of soon being face to face with anybody who is attracted by their facial expression and related data," they added.

Facebook grimaced over the dating website, saying that mining information violates the terms of service at the top online social network. Facebook was probing into the matter and promised it would take "appropriate" action.

Ironically, Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg was once in trouble for hacking Harvard University computers while a student there to get pictures of coeds for comparison with each other at a website he created called "Face Mash."

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