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Unread 04-24-2009, 06:27 PM   #1
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Online impersonation -- using someone else's pictures

A friend of mine recently found a myspace page in which she discovered that the unknown user has been uploading pictures of her as their profile pic/album pictures, etc. The person didn't use my friend's name or personal information -- the account is essentially a fake person who is passing off her pictures as their own. All of these pictures were on facebook, and her account had previously been public, so anyone in her network could have had free access to them.

She's changed her facebook privacy settings and tried to contact this myspace user to demand that they remove the photos, but she hasn't heard back yet. Naturally, she's really worried. Her (and my) question is, is this something she could go to the police or authorities with? I was trying to do research online, and I came across several similar examples in which people claimed that since the photos had been made public via facebook, and since the user wasn't sharing any personal information or using the girl's identity for profit (stealing credit cards or soliciting information or anything), what they were doing technically wasn't considered a crime.

Does anyone know anything about this, or know what my friend can do about it? Is it illegal to take publicly posted photos of someone else and pass them off as yours?

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Unread 04-24-2009, 06:44 PM   #2
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I dont know for sure what legal steps she could take.

However, Myspace and Facebook both have policies regarding this, and if she contacted the sites (myspace in this instance) they could shut the other users profile down.
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It's indisputable, though, that it has absolutely nothing to do with either copulation or defecation.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 07:30 PM   #3
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Honestly, I would inform the police. Alot depends on the nature that the pictures were used in and the persona the person who used them was trying to project; however, it is far beyond the bounds of being right, normal, and ethical that I think the police should be notified. If for any reason that it would be brought to their attention.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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I would contact (most likely through email) Myspace first, and if they don't do anything about it, then I would think about the police. However, Myspace has policies to handle this sort of thing, and it's sadly relatively routine, so you shouldn't have much problem with it.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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My mom is a fraud investigator for a bank, and she recently told me that at a seminar it was suggested that she set up a fake myspace and/or facebook posing as a twenty-something so she can go undercover to network and find fraud rings and such. I just asked her where she would get the pictures for this fake account, and her answer was "troll the internet.". Unfortunately, once your pictures are out there, anyone can just také them. These things aren't highly regulated. Who knows, maybe your friend is helping a good guy catch the bad guys... Or it could be the other way around. :/
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Unread 04-24-2009, 10:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emo_Rachael View Post
My mom is a fraud investigator for a bank, and she recently told me that at a seminar it was suggested that she set up a fake myspace and/or facebook posing as a twenty-something so she can go undercover to network and find fraud rings and such. I just asked her where she would get the pictures for this fake account, and her answer was "troll the internet.". Unfortunately, once your pictures are out there, anyone can just také them. These things aren't highly regulated. Who knows, maybe your friend is helping a good guy catch the bad guys... Or it could be the other way around. :/



Except that sites like Myspace and Facebook forbid the use of pictures of other users, or pictures that are not your property.

Myspace has the authority to shut people like your mom down if they ever discover what she is doing with her account.
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Originally Posted by Nate View Post
It's indisputable, though, that it has absolutely nothing to do with either copulation or defecation.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 11:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Demon_Hunter View Post
Except that sites like Myspace and Facebook forbid the use of pictures of other users, or pictures that are not your property.

Myspace has the authority to shut people like your mom down if they ever discover what she is doing with her account.
Right, but that's about all they can do (shut down her account). It's not like anyone can sue or anything.
You know those news specials about policemen posing as young'uns in order to catch predators? Where do you think they get pictures? *Somewhere* on the internet! All I'm trying to say in response to the original post is don't make a huge deal out of it.
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Unread 04-24-2009, 11:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emo_Rachael View Post
Right, but that's about all they can do (shut down her account). It's not like anyone can sue or anything.
You know those news specials about policemen posing as young'uns in order to catch predators? Where do you think they get pictures? *Somewhere* on the internet! All I'm trying to say in response to the original post is don't make a huge deal out of it.


Why not?

I can think of atleast a couple reasons why such a thing could be problematic for the owner of the pictures.

And I remember watching one of those news specials... the pictures they used in that one were pics of one of the officers kids, not some random pics they stole from someone off the internet to pose as.
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Originally Posted by Nate View Post
It's indisputable, though, that it has absolutely nothing to do with either copulation or defecation.
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Unread 04-25-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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Some people had suggested contacting the police. I don't think that is necessary in this situation. Unless you suspect the person who is using your pictures of being involved in some sort of illegal activity, then don't tell the police because it's not their job. Tell myspace or facebook if it is really bothering you, but don't bug the authorities. That is all I am saying.
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