Dating at one… or wait, two, three websites?

troubledating

Some precedent to start with

When Stephen Anderson (the name was changed) decided to create his account at love2meet.com, he just didn’t realize that he would be automatically registered at Senior Dating Canada as well.

David found this out to his surprise after the small investigation, which was conducted by the CBC News. As it turned out, his profile and even his photo was submitted at least four or five (!) other online dating websites (surprise!) – Mind everything was done without his knowledge. All of those sites belonged to Global Personals, a dating company based in England. As far as we can know from its website, it owns slightly less than 15,000 online dating web resources all over the world. And its target audience includes approximately 30 million of members. But as far as David learnt by experience, not every single dating website for finding dating partners is a unique entity.

And the matter is that David wasn’t the only person, who faced such a situation as a member of Global Personals, who “enjoyed” even more service than they expected for. The investigation revealed other people, who were also surprised as much as the next guy to find their profiles on several online dating websites, where they seemed not to register.

So, what was the matter?

The point is that when you register at Global Personals, you agree to the terms of site’s use by your clicking at the “join” button. Normally you have absolutely no reasons to look them through, right? Well… not exactly.

Actually, when you decide to do that, it says something like: “By registering with the website you acknowledge and accept that all content that you post to the site may be looked for and available to users of the service who access it through different websites from the site.” And nobody of the people mentioned above knew that their registering at one site meant getting profiles at several sites simultaneously. Therefore you should get it all clear in privacy policy of any dating website, including such trusted ones like chemistry.com, if you have your personal info at heart.

Shared info principle

Global Personals used the so-called “shared database” principle, aimed at increasing the website users’ opportunities of finding dates. Still, the Canadian Privacy Commissioner had to admit that the company was not transparent enough with its clients. One more dating site was unable to delete completely an account of one woman after she asked for that. Then the commissioner claimed the website had to make it easy for all members to fully remove their accounts.

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