While you were searching for love on Tinder, one creepy programmer was harvesting your A-game pics and distributing them in bulk to artificial intelligence researchers experimenting with facial recognition.
Developer Stuart Colianni reportedly exploited a backdoor in the popular dating app to scrape thousands of selfies and upload them to the Google-owned machine learning platform Kaggle. The dataset, titled ‘People of Tinder,’ contained over 40,000 images of men and women in six separate archives.
While the scraped photo collection has since been deleted from Kaggle, the script Colianni wrote to download the images is still available on GitHub.
“This is a simple script that exploits the Tinder API to allow a person to build a facial dataset,” the GitHub repository in question reads.
“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. Tinder gives you access to thousands of people within miles of you. Why not leverage [this resource] to build a better, larger facial dataset?”
Well, it turns out harvesting thousands of images of people’s faces is actually a privacy violation. Colianni later added that he had “spoken with representatives at Kaggle, and they have received a request from Tinder to remove the dataset. As such, the facial data set previously hosted on Kaggle has been removed.”
But here’s the kicker: While Colianni distributed the crawled dataset under the media-friendly name ‘People of Tinder,’ he had the slightly less complimentary term ‘hoes’ as a point of reference in his code.
Now that’s a class act…