Privacy experts warn about image theft via online photo scraping

By Michael Oliveira

TORONTO — When a photo of the late Rehtaeh Parsons was used for a dating website’s advertisement on Facebook last year, the callous misappropriation of her image shocked those who saw it.

It should’ve also been seen as a warning, say privacy experts.

Having a photo stolen and reposted elsewhere online could just as easily happen to any of the millions of Canadians who regularly post images to the web without a second thought.

“Many of us are sharing images without considering how others may use them or how we may lose control,” says Marian Merritt, the Internet safety advocate for security software maker Norton.

Last September, ads for the now defunct featured photos of Parsons with the text, “Find Love in Canada! Meet Canadian girls and women for friendship, dating or relationships.”

It had been several months since the much publicized death of the Nova…

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