Match.com Plans To Ask Users If They're Sexual Predators
from the yeah,-that'll-work dept
We noted recently an odd lawsuit against Match.com from a woman who was sexually assaulted by a man she met via the service. The company is almost certainly protected via Section 230 from liability, but with a bit of interesting timing, Match.com announced plans to start screening users' names against a sexual predator database. This seems like the sort of quickly slapped together ideas that sound good until you think through the details. And, thankfully, the folks over at the EFF have thought through the details and are pointing out how deeply flawed Match.com's idea is:
And the real flaw in Match.comís plan is the most obvious: criminals who want to use Match.com for nefarious purposes could use a false identity to set up service. So while law abiding citizens searching for love are handing over loads of personal data to Match.com, those with criminal intent are unlikely to provide real information about themselves when signing up for the site.
It's an affront to privacy masquerading as a safety feature.This sort of thing, by the way, is exactly the kind of thing we'll be discussing at the Techdirt Insight Dinner salon on May 18th, where one of the key points is to better figure out how companies can and should deal with the data they're collecting, without trampling on privacy issues.