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Dating Site Creates Profiles From Public Records

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the you-didn't-even-know-you-were-looking dept.

Privacy 257

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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257 comments

Easy (5, Insightful)

sltd (1182933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902384)

They'll just get everyone's info from Facebook!

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902428)

Maybe *uckerberg can sue them and help pay off the Winklevoss brothers. What a serious bunch of poseurs and losers - including the Facebook's losers.

Re:Easy (5, Insightful)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902474)

I don't see the point. 60%+ will be married / unavailable, at a guess, 20% will not want to be contacted and 20% will be like me (fat, ugly, mean and nasty - yes, I'm just pre-populating the database). Who are they going to match with "george421@gmail.com who has a Slashdot account and isn't on Facebook"? (Sorry, if you're george421@gmail.com).

As for the response from the operator, "We don't expect to have privacy issues" - the Australian privacy commissioner is probably the better informed spokesperson in this particular case. Let's not forget "the only way to not be in the database will be to log in, confirm all your details then delete them" - who here thinks they'll respect the deletion? Anyone? "You there in seat 23596DKL were you raising your hand or scratching ... oh OK scratching it is."

Re:Easy (2)

Psx29 (538840) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902752)

Don't forget the 10% who are gay/lesbian and have no interest in what is most likely a heterosexually oriented dating service.

Re:Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902812)

Bueller?

Bueller?

Bueller?

Bueller?

Re:Easy (4, Informative)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902816)

Don't forget the 10% who are gay/lesbian and have no interest in what is most likely a heterosexually oriented dating service.

I think your figure is too high, it roughly corresponds to the number of people who say they have had a homosexual experience [avert.org] , but far exceeds the percentage who are exclusively homosexual.

Re:Easy (3, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902818)

What's the difference between a "heterosexually oriented" dating service and a gay one? The ones that I've seen always ask your sex and sexual preference.

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!).

Re:Easy (5, Interesting)

pokerdad (1124121) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Easy (1)

the_womble (580291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902820)

Never used one, but I am pretty sure that most dating services, at least online ones, will match gays as well. Its just one extra piece of data needed.

Re:Easy (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902896)

I am pretty sure most dating services are scams. The fact that they're populating their profile database with harvested data only confirms that. Remind me, they're charging for memberships, right? Do you reckon they'll advertise the service "We've got twenty million profiles on our dating site! Did we mention 99% of those profiles were harvested from the net and unavailable for dating?" Anyone willing to bet they'll just mention how many profiles they have?

They'll have a dating profile for Charles Manson (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902844)

After all, his info is on the web.

And the goatse guy and tubgirl.

And LOTS of dead people. Anyone want to date a zombie?

Re:Easy (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902588)

Which leads to the question: why not just use Facebook directly? (And the alternate question: why hasn't someone tied together Facebook and a dating service yet? Seems like an obvious connection.)

I can't see though why anyone would use a service where 95% of the members can't respond since they aren't registered. If the goal is to increase the signal to noise ratio by finding a good match and a successful pairing then you would want to remove idle users not add them.

Re:Easy (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902826)

Which leads to the question: why not just use Facebook directly? (And the alternate question: why hasn't someone tied together Facebook and a dating service yet? Seems like an obvious connection.)

I can't see though why anyone would use a service where 95% of the members can't respond since they aren't registered. If the goal is to increase the signal to noise ratio by finding a good match and a successful pairing then you would want to remove idle users not add them.

I tried that, but it seems that 90% of the people are in the Mafia, farmers, or zombie hunters

Re:Easy (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902830)

If the goal is to increase the signal to noise ratio by finding a good match

That's clearly not the goal, otherwise they wouldn't be doing it. It's just so they can say "we have the largest membership of any dating site! Come find your match today!" type of thing. Then the poor suckers will pay for an account, or at the very least become another pair of eyes that may for some god forsaken reason want to click on an ad. Probably for a fleshlight.

Libel potential (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902402)

Better make sure your information is up-to-date, or you might find yourself hit with libel suit!

Re:Libel potential (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902518)

Why would anyone sue themselves for libel?

Re:Libel potential (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902552)

You'd be surprised, this is America, and no one gives a f--k! I hope they use my latest picture and not that one picture when i was coming out of a car wearing a kilt. Seriously, I have enough problems removing my info from dozens of "know this person" spam sites, I don't want to have to deal with dating ones. Not to mention this is bad press for people who are married or dating and a site says that you're single with recent information and images.

Re:Libel potential (2)

Jeprey (1596319) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902660)

Not the non-member 3rd suing themselves - that's stupid. But rather by scraping from other sources and then claiming it represents a non-member 3rd party, if there are errors that cause damage it's most definitely actionable under common law libel/slander. The non-member 3rd can sue this firm. This firm has to be responsible for accuracy of their collated and created database. It's a derivative work on public information but they are adding to it by systematizing it into usable form for their members.

Not quick enough. (1)

estitabarnak (654060) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902404)

They'll aggregate all of the times that I've fallen just short of getting first post. Clearly I am a sloth-like creature with no dating potential.

Re:Not quick enough. (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902458)

Actually, never getting first-post puts you in the dating pool with everybody that is even remotely desirable.

Re:Not quick enough. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902506)

What if you got it by accident, and didn't even acknowledge it in your post? I think this standard is unfair.

Re:Not quick enough. (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902560)

> What if you got it by accident, and didn't even acknowledge it in your post?

Well, given the legions of /.ers all going for FP, this simply has never happened.

> I think this standard is unfair.

So it's unfair that you didn't know that getting FP removed yourself from the dating pool?
Welcome to life. Nobody gets a rulebook completely filled in.

Re:Not quick enough. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902624)

I have done it, I'm pretty sure i've seen other people do it too. I even RTFA first, I was really surprised by it. And I don't think that should count.

Re:Not quick enough. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902850)

Well, given the legions of /.ers all going for FP, this simply has never happened.

Actually, I've done that several times. Either there are not many other UK Slashdotters who post in the mornings (while most of the US ones are asleep), or I visit a little too often.

So it's unfair that you didn't know that getting FP removed yourself from the dating pool?
Welcome to life. Nobody gets a rulebook completely filled in.

F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F F U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U U

>(

Ugly people date (5, Informative)

aronzak (1203098) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902406)

The company operates several dating sites, including: Dons and Divas, Faithful Lover, Marry Me First, Prison Hookup, and Ugly People Date

Say no more

Re:Ugly people date (-1, Troll)

atengyuer (1973988) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902434)

yes.i think so.

Re:Ugly people date (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902586)

Oh really? You think so, do you? And exactly what is it you "think so" about? The parent made two comments; one listing a number of sites the company operates, the other just saying "say no more".

If you are "thinking so" about the first, I'd love to hear your deep, intimate thoughts on a company operating several sites. But it sounds like you're unsure if they do! Don't worry, just sit there and apply your staggering logic to the situation, and you'll either magically figure out whether or not they *really* have all those sites, or you'll die of dehydration. Win/win, right?

Or, you're *thinking so* about his second statements, which means the guy said there's nothing more to say, and you made a comment specifically to say you also think nothing has to be said, which I think is technically at the lowest intellectual level possible. I mean that no matter what stupid thing any person has ever done, it only technically required stupidity as high as yours, no higher.

In either case, it was a staggering waste on so many levels. You've wasted your own time, you've wasted a small amount of the sustenance granted from whatever you last managed to cram into your maw without choking, you've brought the mechnical failure of your keyboard forward a few seconds, you've wasted power to your home to drive your computer, power to dozens more to transmit your message, you've wasted the efforts of anyone who spent time reading your comment, not to mention the extra page rendering time for anyone visiting the page, you've wasted space on Slashdot's server which will carry your meaningless drivel forever more. In essence, through thousands of tiny interactions both direct and indirect, you've brought the heat-death of the universe forward just that tiny fraction so that you can take a simple, opinionless, uncontroversial statement and make a generic, none-specific, none-commital, information-empty reply to it.

And you know what? Looking at your comment history, where you've done nothing but this (apart from that one time you linked to your own shop), I'm led to think you're actually a spam bot who's idling and building up a comment count in preparation for a blitz, which means I'm probably being even more wasteful with this post. I can only hope that someone who was thinking of making such a useless statement reads this and realises how much of an idiot they are, leaving someone with an actual opinion to make an effort instead, giving some worth to my words.

Re:Ugly people date (1)

JunkmanUK (909293) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902716)

It's quite obviously a spam bot, which someone with privileges needs to report.

Now calm down and drink some hot milk...

Re:Ugly people date (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902866)

In either case, it was a staggering waste on so many levels. You've wasted your own time

Haha :)

It was obvious from the comment it was probably bot generated. A quick look to the sig confirmed it was definitely for advertising purposes.. just learn to ignore this stuff or you'll die a very early and stress filled death!

Re:Ugly people date (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902594)

The company operates several dating sites, including: Dons and Divas, Faithful Lover, Marry Me First, Prison Hookup, and Ugly People Date

Say no more

I assumed you had made those humorous names up. A few searches later and... holy crap.

Re:Ugly people date (4, Interesting)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Ugly people date (2)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902906)

What about for those that don't want to let themselves go? Urgh. Once I realised I was past the teenage "eat whatever the hell you want" phase and was heading towards being overweight, I corrected it by learning how to eat right, and getting more regular exercise, and now I'm in better shape than most guys. As someone who grew up feeling pretty ugly, it's nice to now feel at least average and get the occasional admiring look or compliment :p

Plus, I'd rather only date people that have a little self respect and care about being healthy. That makes a person more attractive to me.

i lol'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902416)

Will anyone be surprised when they have weak passwords for these pseudo-members, and identity theft takes an interesting turn?

LOL.

Privacy (3, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902422)

How does a company "not expect to face privacy issues"?

Re:Privacy (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902460)

How does a company "not expect to face privacy issues"?

If the information is truly only from public records, then the information is - you guessed it - already public. At least in general. I think a case could be made that conflating the disparate data sources into one personally identifiable profile could cross a line, but the problem with the law and privacy is - there's generally not much of a well-defined line for privacy. A good test case, though, if someone has the financial means to pursue it to a non-settlement conclusion.

Re:Privacy (1)

DavidRawling (864446) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902482)

As per the article, the Australian Privacy Commissioner has suggested the company might be running afoul of the Australian NPP. Since even our government seems to have more money than this company, I'd bet there will be sufficient complaints reasonably quickly and the Govt will be initiating the lawsuits. Popcorn or similar snacks will be recommended :)

Re:Privacy (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902512)

As per the article, the Australian Privacy Commissioner has suggested the company might be running afoul of the Australian NPP.

I don't care what the Australian anything says about anything in this instance. The title of the article says, "Non-registered individuals get dating profiles in the US". Unless Aussies are now using 'US' to mean something Australian, which would be annoying. They should just call whatever it is they're talking about 'Bruce' to save confusion. :)

Re:Privacy (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902796)

TFA says that it would include information about Australian's and the company appears to be operating in Australia. Thus I imagine even if it is legal in the US, which I doubt they could still be sued in Australia.
As the TFA says they will be collecting info from all Facebook accounts not set to private, I imagine they could face legal problems in many countries.

Re:Privacy (1)

CitizenCain (1209428) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902620)

As per the article, the Australian Privacy Commissioner has suggested the company might be running afoul of the Australian NPP. Since even our government seems to have more money than this company, I'd bet there will be sufficient complaints reasonably quickly and the Govt will be initiating the lawsuits. Popcorn or similar snacks will be recommended :)

I don't see much of a show coming out of this. If they start getting hit with lawsuits they don't want, they can just reincorporate in a country or jurisdiction which doesn't have any privacy laws and/or strictly limits damages/class action status... or better yet, a jurisdiction where the judicial system is an entrepreneurial enterprise, and they can buy legal protection.

Re:Privacy (4, Interesting)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Privacy (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902540)

There's a lot of public information out there, and a lot of it is wrong or misleading. Couldn't you have a case for libel if say for instance this company crafts a profile for an unknowing individual which suggests he's gay when he isn't?

Honestly, I think it's a tad shady that a company is crafting dating profiles for people who don't want them using random information from the internet of all places as a source. Can you imagine the shock some girlfriend or boyfriend might encounter stumbling across some profile for their significant other that suggests they're single or something when in reality they had nothing to do with that profile?

Re:Privacy (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902568)

There's a lot of public information out there, and a lot of it is wrong or misleading. Couldn't you have a case for libel if say for instance this company crafts a profile for an unknowing individual which suggests he's gay when he isn't?

Absolutely, but that's a pretty big assumption to make about what this company is going to do before they've done anything. We don't even know if they'll be marking unclaimed profiles as 'available' or 'looking' or anything like that.

Honestly, I think it's a tad shady that a company is crafting dating profiles for people who don't want them using random information from the internet of all places as a source.

I don't think they mentioned they'd be using 'random' sources, but yeah, the whole thing is definitely shady. I just don't know which particular U.S. laws, if any, are directly applicable to this, since they claim to be using public records. We'll see. We could definitely use some real laws on the books that actually talk about privacy. Aggregating public records into an individually, publicly-identifiable record, is something that has not yet been addressed in the U.S., at least not on the federal level. It's inevitable, I think, but who knows when. The GOP will certainly stop any attempt to do anything (about anything, not just this) for the next two years, so I wouldn't expect any action until 2013 at the soonest, if then.

Re:Privacy (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902554)

In places like Canada and Germany, even public information can't be used like that otherwise it breaches the privacy act(s). While I realize this is aussieland and all that, they could violate the laws of other countries by doing what they're planning to do.

Re:Privacy (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902808)

The company operates in the US, TFA is Australian so is looking at it from an Australian perspective. It is not saying that they are only planing to do this for Australian users in fact it actually implies most of the information sources will be from the US (plus all Facebook accounts with bad privacy settings).
They do however seem to operate world wide so they are probably open to legal proceedings in many countries (including Australia according to the TFA)

libel and slander (4, Informative)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902628)

It's not just a matter of privacy. Repeating false information about a person runs foul of libel and slander.

The credit rating agencies have some kind of weird exemption under law from being sued under libel or slander. So if a creditor gives a credit agency false information about your payment history, it's a huge ordeal to get this expunged, and meanwhile you can't sue the credit rating agency for broadcasting what would be a libellous falsehood in any other context.

These people, not so lucky.

I don't think the credit rating agencies want to see big issues surrounding libel and slander challenged in court. They have it good. Hardly anyone ever points out their cozy loophole. Either they'll choose to prop up the legitimacy of these fringe collators, or they'll be distributing severed horse heads to make them go away.

Re:Privacy (0)

Kilrah_il (1692978) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902488)

Nobody expects privacy issues! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

Not interested. (2)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902432)

Online dating company Gotham Dating Partners...

How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not interested in dating Batman? What a goddamn passive-aggressive slut.

Re:Not interested. (2)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902582)

Let me guess, your heart belongs to Bruce Wayne and only Bruce Wayne?

Re:Not interested. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902646)

That billionaire playboy. He's too busy socializing at cocktail parties and managing the affairs of the Wayne foundation!

Membership? (2)

a.koepke (688359) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902452)

Can they really claim someone is a "member" of the site if that person hasn't even heard of the site before?

If they decide to do this there should be some marker on that profile to say it has been created from public information obtained without that person's consent or knowledge.

There also needs to be some way to allow you to verify your identity and take ownership of the profile they have setup for you which should include the option to remove your profile.

Re:Membership? (1)

Musically_ut (1054312) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902472)

Can they really claim someone is a "member" of the site if that person hasn't even heard of the site before?

By the virtue of being born within the internationally recognized borders of the giant Republic of Internet, you are hereby granted membership of this dating site. It is a cross you have to bear.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Re:Membership? (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902852)

Can they really claim someone is a "member" of the site if that person hasn't even heard of the site before?

Some are bot net members too, I bet they haven't heard of those either.

Dating site scams (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902478)

Lonely men on these sites can now look forward to receiving more 'winks' from hot 19 year old co-eds (who aren't actually members or interested) urging them to 'upgrade their membership' (pay money) in order to reply to them.

Anyone signing up to these sites should check the Ts&Cs very carefully. My favourite is Ashley Madison's:

From time to time this service may include, offer, or initiate winks, collect messages or instant chat from Market Researchers (Online Hosts) simulating attached or single men or women. These efforts are conducted for market research and/or customer experience and/or quality control and/or compliance purposes. Market research information is used to provide analysis, feedback, trends, patterns, social commentary and information in the aggregate and aides in the process of monitoring our system for compliance of our operating standards and code of conduct. Accordingly, Market Researchers (Online Hosts) will NOT be conspicuously identified.

Any male signing up, can expect to be contacted by some impossibly hot young thing, within hours of sign-up.

Dating sites with phony ads (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902492)

These are the guys who run PrisonHookup.com. [prisonhookup.com]

Could be worse. It could be Friendfinder, which was so successful with phony ads and spam that they now own Penthouse. They just made a bid for Playboy Inc., but Hefner turned it down and is taking Playboy private.

Re:Dating sites with phony ads (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902740)

Could be worse. It could be Friendfinder, which was so successful with phony ads and spam that they now own Penthouse.

You got that backwards, Penthouse bought Friendfinder then changed their name.

a good thing! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902494)

This might well be a good thing, besides the point if they are allowed to do it. Finally people will become aware that they should be careful with their online data!

Re:a good thing! (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902590)

Please, inform us all on how we can avoid being on mailing lists (where they gather your address and name and other data from any of a number of businesses, such as financial institutions), and census records and real-estate listings and company websites? Maybe you have some magic that I'm not aware of that renders you invisible in any public records.

Re:a good thing! (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902648)

How about people get off their asses and pass laws that make farming e-mail addresses of people from the internet a crime punishable by imprisonment? Further a host that sends spam is disconnected from the internet. How much spam needs to be sent can be determined by the large e-mail providers like Gmail, Yahoo,msn and what have you else. A national(international if you will) database of spammers can be made and the top X off the list get their ips disconnected.

Lower desperation concentration. (1)

Feinu (1956378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902510)

At least now the ratio between desperate people and decent looking people on the site has a chance of dropping below six digits.

Boost membership? (4, Insightful)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902536)

Now run this by me again...

How does
create profiles for non-registered individuals based on publicly available information

result into
which is expected to boost its membership from 6.5 million to 340 million worldwide.

?

Re:Boost membership? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902642)

Well, first you register everybody and then you send them an invoice for their membership fees

Re:Boost membership? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902726)

No need to send an invoice. You just use your inflated number for promotional purposes, in order to attract more real members. You know, a dating site is more "interesting" to the public if it already has more members. So, even non-paying members are interesting.

Re:Boost membership? (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902806)

You just use your inflated number for promotional purposes, in order to attract more real members.

They would also get some of those "members" to sign up by sending them an email saying "this hot girl is interested in you. Upgrade to a 'platinum' account to view her profile and to respond."

Re:Boost membership? (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902738)

All those profiles are considered "members" probably. It's just an easy way to boost your membership numbers.

Still I wonder what that will bring to the site: instead of 6.5 million people that are actively looking for a date, you add 333.5 million people that are presumably not actively looking for a date to the site.

Now I'm imagining using such a site, and browsing profiles. When looking at a profile of prospective dates, the chance that this individual is also in the market for a date is less than 2% instead of 100% (assuming for the sake of the argument that members that registered themselves are all looking for dates). Add to that the chance that she may be interested to go on a date with you (which is, say, 10%) it's getting pretty horrible. Not even 0.2% chance to actually get a date!

That would make the site useless. It means having to send out over 500 date requests to land a single date - on average. That's for all practical purposes a no-go. At a 10% chance it's very much hit and miss already, but that way the numbers still are manageable.

Re:Boost membership? (0)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902868)

There is a mystery phase, which accounts for the missing logic, and allows for reaching your goal:

1) Register profiles via public information
2) ?
3) Profit!

A familiar profile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902546)

Job: Former President. Currently unemployed

Marital Status: Married but wife has put on a few pounds

Type: Prefers interns and former beauty queens

Location: New York City

E-mail: hornyexpresident@yahoo.com

Dating site or spying center? (4, Interesting)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Dating site or spying center? (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902578)

Yeah, I don't get this, either. It would freak me the hell out if I got some email or something from someone (or from a website, on behalf of someone) flirting with me, because they saw that I was single based on census data or my linkedin profile. At best, this seems like an attempt to facilitate unwanted harassment. How this is any different than generating a massive mailing list that you can sell to businesses and scam artists, I have no idea.

Re:Dating site or spying center? (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902948)

It would freak me the hell out if I got some email or something from someone (or from a website, on behalf of someone) flirting with me

You mean, you don't already get such mails?

I wonder how the shoe fits ... (2)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902608)

From the article:

[The company's marketing vice president Damon] Jordan did not expect to face any privacy issues by aggregating publicly available information, stating: "If the information is public, there are no privacy issues."

That's an interesting stance from such a public figure. I really hope no one will try to aggregate every piece of publicly available information about this particular person and post it in a single, easy to use post/thread.

Personally I'd consider it a rather large violation, but hey - to each their own, right?

dear slashdot, don't post professional trolls (4, Insightful)

Nyall (646782) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902614)

How about we not give these clowns free publicity for spouting nonsense ?

This isn't any different than the ryan airlines CEO make press releases about only needing one pilot.

What with their 50p fares, etc.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902696)

Ryanair shot themselves in the foot with this approach - they're pretty much a joke nowadays.

Fascinating Aida - Cheap Flights [youtube.com]

And one of their little scams has been ruled illegal in Spain [dailymail.co.uk]

(People still fly by them, bu the customer dissatisfaction levels grow daily)

Trashy stuff (1)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902616)

These dating site ideas are getting pathetic. I saw a commercial ON TELEVISION for a website aimed at connecting married partners who want to have an affair. This is possibly one of the most tasteless ideas/commercials I have ever witnessed.

Home wrecking? (1)

Chewbacon (797801) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902680)

So say a woman browsing that site contacts a guy she went to highschool with. I think it is safe to assume the site knows how to contact the guy with: "You have a message from date.com!" The guy happens to be married and his wife sees the email. See where that could be going? Would certainly cause damages for some people.

EULA (1)

supernes (1560323) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902742)

As a means of protecting unwitting people from all sorts of damaging misappropriation of their public records, I propose social networking sites put into place a mandatory 42-page EULA that you must scroll through and agree to in order to view pictures of said someone and their cats.

Lawyers love this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902794)

The lawyers will be all over this. It should be easy money for them. The company isn't thinking this through. Even if they aren't breaking the law, their lawsuit costs will be huge.

Re:Lawyers love this (2)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902834)

The lawyers will be all over this. It should be easy money for them. The company isn't thinking this through. Even if they aren't breaking the law, their lawsuit costs will be huge.

Yes, if my wife finds that I am registered on a dating site they will be accessory to murder!

Legality? (1)

HJED (1304957) | more than 3 years ago | (#34902828)

Is there anyone here who can comment on the legality of what they are doing?
Also did Google Street view set a legal president for this, as what Google did seems to be similar (but less invasive).

fraud? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902878)

If they call me a member, just because they make a profile, they are probably committing fraud, both on their customers and their investors.

And if they call me a member, that's certainly false and misleading, and might be actionable (if only idiots join the site, which sounds probable).

why tagged australia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902892)

This is a US company. The only connection to Australia is that it was reported on a com.au web site.

We have enough stupid of our own, we don't need to be blamed for other countries stupid.

This is an excellent idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902902)

I plan to create a website entitled 'Dating for people who enjoy fun with animals and pee and poo, but anyone else can also join'. I will create profiles based on the public information of persons, and the information will naturally be made public. I intend to start with an exclusive clientele made up of employees of dating organisations in Australia and may not expand after that.

*Dating* site ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902916)

"We, the Gotham Dating Partners, allways give you, our valued customer, what you want.

Your choosen parner may not expect you, but in that case just do not take 'no' for an answer.

If all else fails you have all the data you need to stalk your future wife/husband."

Interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34902942)

So they're centralizing publicly available information. The beautiful thing is it's an individual company. And offshore. So anyone who wants to prosecute has to go thru that country's legal system. They just happen to target another country- I'm sorry, add to their membership base from that country... So if it's more than just facebook- you guys do realize there's a whole lot of different kinds of publicly available info out there right? Pretty much every government agency that couldn't get funding for it, just got permission to aggregate everything and take it. By the time any laws are passed, these guys will have sold to the highest bidder and be chillin in some country that isn't being mined for information.

Pretty sure the only reason noone's done it yet is the shear amount of disparate data out there that needs to be parsed just to make sense of it all. Oh and the programming for that will be paid for by all the advertisers wanting to jump on the 340 million member bandwagon. Will end up in many people hands before it's all over... I'd say it's guaranteed to make money, who can't make money from a list of everyone in a country and their fucking profile? Not even counting the "big brother" angle. Heck every hackers dream is access to the "movie type government super database" of crazyness. whoops, just made one. Better hope government/cops/criminals/mafia/script kiddies don't ever want to know anything about you.

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