Dating site creates profiles based on information scraped online

Various publicly available information regarding all US citizen is likely to be aggregated and be made available by Gotham Dating Partners, according to an announcement made by the company.

Gotham Dating Partners – among other things – manages a number of dating sites which have some 6.5 million members around the world. But apparently, this was only the beginning. Damon Jordan, the company’s VP of marketing, says that their goal is to become a “public information source” for everyone searching for authentic information on any US citizen.

How do they plan to attain such a goal? By opening an account for every citizen and filling it with information scraped from various online sources: government census records, social networking sites, mailing lists, real estate listings, marketing surveys and many other.

As unappealing as that may sound to many concerned about their privacy, Jordan believes they will not encounter legal difficulties because all this information is already public and “free for the taking”.

Apparently, even the information of foreign citizens will be gathered and sorted into profiles, and the only way to delete this information will be to log in and delete the profile.

Australian Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgram thinks that this might not be possible for the company to do under Australia’s Privacy Act 1988. “Organisations covered under the Privacy Act 1988 are generally required to provide individuals with notice that their information is being collected,” he commented to iTnews.

In any case, it really does seem that the only way to keep you personal information from being collected is not to publish it online at all. Unfortunately, plenty of that information is already online because its publication does not depend on you.

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