Are your sexual habits on display for all to see? A recent study put privacy into question. In addition, OKCupid users were the unfortunate targets.
Signing up for a dating website requires the submission of your personal data. But is that personal data available to the public, and not just other OKCupid users? It is difficult to navigate the personal privacy loopholes while engaging on social media platforms.
You can find a surprising amount of personal information on social media platforms like Facebook. It is even more startling when your sexual preferences and habits can be deciphered as well. So, who penetrated OKCupid?
OKCupid Is Not OK
A team of researchers affiliated with Aarhus University in Denmark released personal data of roughly 70,000 OKC users. The Danish cupid killers used a browser extension (the scraper) that collected data from the web pages. In addition, this was all accomplished without the consent of OKCupid or their users, which violates the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
A Complete Disregard of Ethics
Open Science Framework (a collaborative forum for researchers and their findings) featured the data of nearly 70,000 online dating users. The scraper was able to compile users’ gender, age, religion, and sexual perspectives.
One group of the experts believed that the science behind the data breach was, in fact, unethical, since OKCupid and its users were unaware of it. The other group of experts remained on the fence, since the user data is public to the OKCupid users anyway.
Are Your Sexual Habits Online?
The information OKC users share on the dating site ranges from political views to sexual habits. Back then, OKCupid itself experimented with some of its data. In 2014, the dating site’s cofounder Christian Rudder noted that the site would often match people that were only 30 percent compatible. Could it be unethical as well?
What is the Moral of this Story?
Tech companies may exploit your personal information. And that is not sexy!