Forget Identity Fraud, What About Facebook Identity Fraud?

from the the-next-problem? dept

There have been plenty of stories over the past few years concerning the problems associated with identity fraud — but with more and more of an individual’s “identity” moving online, it was only a matter of time until the problems of identity fraud moved online in a more complete way (beyond just accessing the data and buying things as someone else). For example, Moroccan authorities have arrested a guy for identity fraud in taking over a Morrocan prince’s identity on Facebook. The details aren’t clear (at all). It could be just that this guy set up an account pretending to be the prince, or he could have accessed the prince’s actual site, somehow (though, the article does suggest that the prince doesn’t have much of a real presence). This raises some interesting questions. If you’re simply creating a profile of a real person and acting as that person — is that identity fraud?

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Companies: facebook

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Comments on “Forget Identity Fraud, What About Facebook Identity Fraud?”

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18 Comments
Willton says:

Re: Re: Re:

Have you put any thought into how broad this rule is? It incriminates me for doing a George Bush impression in a restuarant for my friends.

Well, are you actually representing yourself to be George Bush? I imagine you’re not, considering your impression is designed to mock or parodize George Bush, not so that one would actually believe you are George Bush.

Fraud is a misrepresentation of fact. Identity fraud is a misrepresentation of one’s identity. If you are not actually representing yourself to the world that you are in fact George Bush, then you are not committing fraud.

Anonymous Coward says:

Legally, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain (perhaps but not necessarily at the expense of other parties). Hence, it’s not identity fraud unless you’re doing it for gain. It could be applicable to this case; we don’t know specifics. As far as making people believe that person X has opinion Y by pretending to be X on Facebook, there are libel and slander laws to deal with that.

There now, that wasn’t hard and your resteraunt Bush impression is still good 🙂

Amy Alkon (user link) says:

Blog and Gmail Address That Were Created In My Nam

I reported it to Google and they did fuck all about it. It was pretty nightmarish, actually. The site was a parody site, and I’m all for free speech and parody — in fact, I would’ve linked to the site if it had been titled AmyAlkonSucks.com or something. But, it wasn’t. It was advertised on various blogs as my official site, and the asshat who did it even posted comments on my own site, driving people from my site to the fake site. I got control of it, no thanks to Google. It sucked hours and hours of my time in writing appeals to Google, etc., asking them, not to shut down the site, but to make the guy stop making it look like it was my personal site and instead call it AmyAlkonIsABitch or whatever, and move the content there.

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