back to article 40,000 Tinder pics scraped into big data service

Amid a storm of criticism, a set of facial images built by scraping the Tinder dating service has been pulled from Kaggle. Developer Stuart Colianni had built the 40,000-strong set of “hoes” (the charming variable name* in his source code – more below in case that repo also dies) on the premise that facial datasets are …

  1. Number6

    There were three pictures of Santa in there. Hoe, hoe, hoe.

  2. Mark Solaris

    The data still exists

    The data, including IDs has moved to here

    1. theblackhand Silver badge

      Re: The data still exists

      How do I swipe left and right on those?

  3. frank ly

    Side issue

    "(that is, if you find a suitcase stuffed with banknotes, you're don't get to keep it, you have to try and find the owner)."

    Do you _have to_ try to find the owner or can you just walk on by because you have better things to do with your time?

    1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Side issue

      "Do you _have to_ try to find the owner or can you just walk on by because you have better things to do with your time?"

      No, you can just leave it there. It's only if you find something and intend to keep it.

      If you find something, make a "reasonable" attempt to locate the owner, then after an amount of time it belongs to you.

      So if you find a bag of money (or more realistically, a wallet with cash in it), then handing it in to a cop shop and leaving your details will result in the money going to you if no-one claims it within three months IIRC.

      However, if it might be evidence in some other crime, then it can get held for quite a long time. I found an envelope containing about $600 on the side of the road in NZ, and I got to keep it after the cops had it for about 18 months. Well, I got a bank transfer for the amount, since the actual banknotes are still potential evidence.

      It's a bit different if someone has abandoned goods. So if a flatmate leaves a fridge when they move out, and make no effort to collect it for two years, then the fridge then belongs to whoever it was left with.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        a flatmate leaves a fridge when they move out

        Contents of fridge after 2 years - lovely!

        1. Haku

          Re: a flatmate leaves a fridge when they move out

          "There's something weird in the fridge today

          I don't know what it is

          Food I can't recognize

          My roommate won't throw a thing away

          I guess it's probably his

          It looks like it's alive...


          And livin' in the fridge... livin' in the fridge

          Livin' in the fridge... livin' in the fridge"

          Weird Al Yankovic - Livin' In The Fridge

        2. Number6

          Re: a flatmate leaves a fridge when they move out

          I suspect that if the contents of the fridge were left undisturbed that long they'd also be able to move out without needing any help.

      2. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Side issue

        Years a go my late mother bought a new handbag in a department store. When she brought it back to our house, and looked in it, at the bottom of the bag, under the packaging, there was a ring. It had a large and judging by the scratch it made on some glass, genuine diamond. Being honest we took it to the police station, and explained where it had come from. And they explained that if it wasn't claimed within 3 months it would become ours. It got claimed.

        The person who collected it didn't even leave a message to say 'thanks'. Which doesn't really add anything to this thread. I just wanted to say it. To add to the sum total of human cynicism.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Side issue

        "Well, I got a bank transfer for the amount, since the actual banknotes are still potential evidence."

        That sounds like a great way to launder money.

        "Find" a boatload of cash. Hand it in and when nobody claims it, you get a nice clean bank transfer from the plod.

  4. David Roberts Silver badge

    Aggregating data?

    I know that aggregated data can have a higher security classification than individual data items, but stil.......

    Has this person just developed a script to save publicly available pictures?

    I mean, given the time and an insane love of crushingly repetetive boredom could the same not be done by hand?

    Couldn't one do the same with almost any source of pictures e.g. LinkedIn profiles?

    Struggling to see the problem here.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Aggregating data?

      It might depend on the T&Cs of the site you scraped it from. That, in turn, would lead us into the murky issues around jurisdiction and whether the site could enforce those T&Cs either legally or practically. If you just keep quiet about it, I rather suspect you'd get away with it. If you re-publish the dataset, you might be breaching copyright (somewhere).

      Given the variable names in the script you are almost certainly inviting a libel suit in London (sigh) but you probably aren't British (we spell it differently) so you probably don't care.

    2. The Nazz Silver badge

      Done by hand indeed.

      If one collects the better pictures, it can easily be done one handed. So a friend tells me.

      Wouldn't actually take that long.

      Tbf, one typical "shoddily dressed, pouty" Twitter pic is one two many.

      *too* many, even.

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

      @David Roberts Re: Aggregating data?

      Even if the images were saved by hand, it would still be against the ToS for Tinder.

      Even if you consider the image to be public, its not. You must be a member and agree to the ToS for the App. And while Tinder holds some responsibility for the breach, and that's what this is... you still can't take and save the snaps.

      Let me put it this way...

      Suppose you're gay and in the closet. You don't want your wife to find out.

      You use an app like Tinder... what is it? Grinder? And you post some photos.

      Now suppose someone took those photos, and then ran a Machine Learning algo to match them to other public photos in an effort to identify the people on the site. And then published the names and addresses of those people?

      Since the names and addresses are public information, and accessing publicly available images from facebook or whatever because you or your friends set their photo privacy to share with the public, and the photos on the grinder site are shared publicly with members... no harm no foul, right?

      Now your wife happens to get a call from a friend who found your name on the list with the photos.

      No harm no foul, right?

      And you would be wrong to think that they wouldn't get sued by the people exposed, Grinder, etc ...

      Just because you can do something doesn't mean its legal or that you should.

      1. Albo123

        Re: @David Roberts Aggregating data?

        In the example you cite, matching different datasets together to discover personally identifiable information is in breach of the Human Rights Act as informed consent was not provided. A startup I was involved in briefly looked into doing something similar and was told in no uncertain terms by the Information Commissioner's Office that matching data from different publicly accessible (in this case social media) data streams was VERY much against the law as it created personally identifiable data - something for which informed consent must explicitly be given.

        1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge

          @Albo123 Re: @David Roberts Aggregating data?

          It depends on which country you're in and your machines are in.

          And yes, it should be illegal everywhere. But then again not every country has first world laws that protect citizens.

  5. MrT

    Spear & Jackson no.3...

    It's a Ripping Yarn, sho nuff, but it seems 'Stuart Colianni' is a pseudonym; his real name is Eric Olthwaite, allegedly, and he's clearly a misguided fan of gardening tools...

  6. chivo243 Silver badge

    Nicely done!

    facial datasets and a dating site!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least he's using Python

    Although I hope it's Python 3, otherwise I'd advise use of xrange instead of range.

    1. ofnuts

      Re: At least he's using Python

      Not good python, though. "for x in range(len(somelist))" is an anti-pattern.

  8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    IT Angle


    Something about gardening implements?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got hoes

    I've got hoes, in different area codes

  10. Sean Kennedy

    Speak for yourself

    I charge, so I'd be more of a whore.

  11. The Nazz Silver badge

    The right (and wrong) thing to do ...

    A few years back my kid found 20p in the school grounds. I explained that the proper thing to do is hand it in and when (undoubtedly) the true owner never claims it, it will be handed back to you.*

    Then this story broke :

    Ha Ha.

    In the UK be careful of the Police and the "3 months rule". It may be less than that.

    I once notified them i had found valuable lost property and they duly came to collect it.

    6 months later i asked if the owner had claimed it, told "NO" so was asking "is it mine now then".

    "Oh NO, on this type of property it is ONE month" and we gave it to an associate of ours.

    Top tip : Be careful who you trust. The "good guys" are not always on your side.

    * It never was so i made good out of my own pocket. Generous soul that i am.

  12. Seajay#

    Excessive commenting

    This seems like a good example of "The code is the documentation", why do you need to add that comment?

    # Iterate through list of subjects

    for hoe in hoes:

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "you're don't get to keep it"

    What does that even mean?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    no expectation of privacy?

    Is there still anyone who has an expectation of privacy or any real attempts at data protection who uses services that are designed to be "shared" and "browsed easily" thru apps where the parent company makes money off of having more and more members and more eyeballs on the page?

    screen scrapes or legit views, it all pays the same amirite?

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