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Romance is dead: Part-time model slings $1.5bn SUEBALL at Match.com

Claims that dating site used pics on fake accounts without consent

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Online dating website Match.com is being sued by a woman in Florida, who has brought a $1.5bn class-action lawsuit against the company in which she alleges that photos of her and thousands of others were used without permission on fake profiles.

Part-time model Yuliana Avalos said of her complaint, which was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York: "Not a day goes by when someone doesn't tell me that they saw my pictures posted on Match.com or another website."

The suit accuses Match.com of "illegal business practices" relating to "the knowing and intentional use of plaintiff's photographs in hundreds if not thousands of fraudulent profiles posted on several of the 25 dating sites owned and operated by the defendants".

The allegation covers a six-year period in which Avalos's lawyer claims that anything up to millions of photos of class members may have been used in duff profiles posted by "scammers" operating locations such as internet cafes in Nigeria, Ghana and Russia.

"Fake profiles ... include photographs pirated from Facebook and modelling agencies, as well as photographs of military servicemen and women, all without the knowledge or consent of the individuals portrayed in the photographs," the suit claims.

Match.com has faced similar sueballs in the past, which it has been able to successfully fight in the US courts.

This particular class action lawsuit, however, noted that the plaintiffs in the case were not bound by Terms of Use Agreements with Match.com because - according to the claim - their photos have been snatched from other corners of the web.

Avalos's lawyer is demanding that Match.com screen international IP addresses to prevent outsiders from posting domestic profiles in the US. The suit also calls on the company to implement photo and facial recognition software to scan all snaps uploaded on its sites.

Finally, plaintiffs are pursing statutory, compensatory, treble and punitive damages, plus interest, costs and attorneys' fees.

Match.com, which is owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, had not responded to The Register's request for comment at time of writing. The lawsuit can be viewed here [PDF]. ®

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