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Privacy Australia Your Rights Online

Dating Site Creates Profiles From Public Records 257

Posted by timothy
from the you-didn't-even-know-you-were-looking dept.
schliz writes "Online dating company Gotham Dating Partners has announced plans to create profiles for non-registered individuals based on publicly available information from social networking sites, e-mail registries, mailing lists, marketing surveys, government census records, real estate listings and business websites. Although the Australian Privacy Commissioner has warned that the automatic creation of identifiable profiles of individuals without their knowledge is 'not good privacy practice,' Gotham Dating Partners does not expect to face any privacy issues from the move, which is expected to boost its membership from 6.5 million to 340 million worldwide."
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Dating Site Creates Profiles From Public Records

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  • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thegarbz (1787294) on Monday January 17, 2011 @02:46AM (#34902502)
    There's a world of difference between my Facebook profile being viewable and being associated and listed as single on a dating site. The difference is purpose of website and intent of visitors. If someone wants to trawl through thousands of public facebook accounts looking for single people then so be it. It's quite another to be expressly listed on a search engine designed for such a thing. An extreme example is where your phone number is publicly listed in the phone book may be of no concern to you. Would you feel the same way if it was posted on 4chan along with messages of "Let's make this guy's life hell?"

    I'm waiting for the moment this company gets sued because without anyone's consent they built a profile which turned out to be not favorable based on automated / wrong information.

    I know I know, public information is public information. However in my country a "reasonable expectation" rule applies to such things. An example is if you're in a restaurant (publicly accessible place), but you're sitting in the far corner alone not engaging anyone you have a legally granted reasonable expectation of privacy, and I don't think a reasonable person would expect their phone number to end up on a dating site without consent, even if it is listed in the phone book.
  • by mcvos (645701) on Monday January 17, 2011 @02:59AM (#34902558)

    When I read the summary, I thought they were going to create the most useless dating site ever. Where many commercial dating sites already have the problem that the vast majority of your matches will be unable to respond, here the vast majority of your matches wouldn't even be interested in dating, and would consider your attempts to contact them spam.

    TFA sounds more like they want to provide a service for people and companies to collect information on people (prospective employees?), while the official cover story is that they want to check the accuracy of their dating profiles (but then why would they need millions of other profiles too?).

  • Re:Ugly people date (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ArsenneLupin (766289) on Monday January 17, 2011 @03:30AM (#34902676)
    For those too lazy to search: The Ugly Bug Ball - real dating for real people [theuglybugball.com].

    ... and here's their rationale:

    1. Half of daters aren't pretty so instead of fishing in a small pool of prettiness and getting nowhere dive into an ocean of uglies and have more choice
    2. Ugly people are a better calibre of human - pretty people generally aren't very nice and tend to be a bit shallow
    3. Ugly people have had a tougher life and therefore tend to be more considerate and more loyal. A recent TUBB survey also proved that they try harder in bed.
    4. Once with an ugly partner it is unlikely that anyone will try and take them from you meaning you can let yourself go completely once you're together.
    5. In these straightened times TUBB is cheaper as a) We don't charge much as the pretty sites and b) Ugly people have lower expectations - for a first date A Family Bucket will usually do the trick.

      Hehe, ... try harder in bed ... family bucket...

  • Re:Easy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pokerdad (1124121) on Monday January 17, 2011 @04:19AM (#34902854)

    I think this practice is pretty despicable unless they make it obvious which profiles were autogenerated. If they don't do that then it could spoil the trust in a lot of relationships if someone finds out their partner is on a dating site (best friend: hey I googled your gf's name for uh.. research.. never mind, and I saw she's totally got a live account on a dating site!).

    I think you have stumbled on what the entire point of this service would be - denyability. If say half the profiles on the site are auto generated and half are people cheating on their spouses, then the cheaters don't have to worry nearly so much about getting caught; they can always claim that they never used the site, their profile was just auto generated. Sure it would make it a little hard to hook up with a real person, but for some this would probably be worth it.

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

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