Thedating info

The batch of dating profiles we purchased included pictures (almost 5 million of them), usernames, e-mail addresses, nationality, gender, age and detailed personal information about all of the people who had created the profiles, such as their sexual orientation, interests, profession, thorough physical characteristics and personality traits.Purchasing this data exposed a vast network of companies that are capitalising on this information without the conscious consent of the users, whom ultimately are the ones being exploited.This value is obfuscated by a complex web of other companies and services.This business ecosystem does not just affect the 1 million profiles we bought, this group of individuals is representative of everyone who has ever had a dating profile on one of the online dating services that are owned by companies such as Match Group.In 2015, POF sold the dating site for 5 million to Match Group , one of the biggest players in the global online dating industry.As stated in the site's privacy policy, Plenty of Fish (among other undisclosed third-party companies) actively shares user information (which likely implies user profiles) with its parent company, Match Group and other Match Group businesses.Nevertheless, we believe that there are many more undisclosed services that generate value from the dating profiles owned by Match Group.

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Under IAC's umbrella, Match Group has multiple sister companies, which, in turn, have dozens of sub-brands and hundreds of sub-products. According to IAC brands' and sub-brands' privacy policy, user data is shared among all the divisions of the IAC conglomerate.

The popular online dating service Plenty of Fish (POF) was launched in 2003 in Vancouver, Canada.

As of 2017, the company claimed to have 150 million registered users and an average 65,000 new subscriptions per day, making it the second most popular dating site in the US, just after Tinder.

Whilst the first approach didn’t provide enough proof to link the images to a specific source, the latter gave us a promising hint about the original source of the data.

Finally, this thread allowed us to obtain compelling evidence about the origin of the profile batch we bought.

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