Following on from the report of how Grindr was embarrassingly easily hacked last month and the effect that the release of such information, if the hacker chose to download and distribute it, would have on the dating site’s members, our next two articles look at how you may want to delete your information. This sounds like a great idea, but there are two problems with actuating that decision.
The first indirect problem is in itself twofold. If, having been the victim of a bitch campaign or been warned about your dating site activity if you hold a position of responsibility within the community or at work, yet you want to carry on using your site, you can choose to delete your ‘you’ profile and create an alter-ego to continue using the service.
The first issue with this scenario is proving your ‘other self’ as an entity if someone who is attracted to your dating site profile requests you to do so. By creating an imaginary online persona you are inadvertently mirroring the steps taken by scammers worldwide. You may also be in breach of the dating site’s guidelines by doing this, but that’s not the real problem. You are rendering the security facilities being adopted by the world of online dating globally, which allow users to align their dating profiles with an online verification of their identity. The first biggie we reported on was Trusted Faces but there are more coming along as the growth of scammers mirrors the increase in volume of new dating site sign-ups.
Even if you do eventually choose to create a new profile using an adopted name, which, to be successful in any real sense, has to incorporate an image that is at least a little like you, you can still be Geo-tagged. More about that in the following article.
But the second real issue is the deletion of your original account. According to one recent study, facebook retains your photographs for two and a half years on its servers after you have deleted your account. And they’re not alone in doing this. Dating sites the world over are guilty of the exact same practise. Their excuse for doing so has its core in the fact that, should the member’s relationship not work out, they may well want to reactivate the account they cancelled due to their change in circumstances.
As was the case in September last year when a judge ordered the release of Twitter and facebook passwords so that evidence could be presented of infidelity in a divorce court, the dating site’s privacy policies will not protect you by not sharing your information if the law comes knocking. Putting the two together, the longevity dating sites hold your data and their inability to stave off legal access to that information, you are warned here and now that anything you do or say, drunk or sober, on your dating or social networking site may be used against you (or someone else) in a court of law long after you have deleted your account.
The moral is, be careful what you say in the public domain – one day it may just come back and bite you on the ass when you’re least expecting it. Next up – steps to take to avoid this dilemma.