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Even something as small as a unique turn of phrase could show up in search results and bring casual visitors to your page.
Photos in particular can linger long after you’ve deleted them or closed your account due to many large websites hosting user-uploaded photos with Content Delivery Networks.It’s good to familiarize yourself with the other available privacy settings regardless of which site you are using. Users hoping to create a barrier between their real identities and their online dating profiles might use strategies such as pseudonyms and misleading information in a profile to obfuscate their identity.However, just changing your name and a few facts about your life may not be enough.Here are six sobering facts about online dating services and a few suggestions for routing around the privacy pitfalls. Your dating profileincluding your photos—can hang around long after you’ve moved on.Whether you signed up on a lark or maintained an active profile for several years, your online dating profile can be lurking around long after you’ve cancelled the account.This might be a particular concern for individuals who use niche dating sites, such as HIV-positive or queer dating sites. Your data is helping online marketers sell you stuff.
The cynics among us might think this is the primary purpose of an online dating site.
If you use a photo on your dating site that can be associated with one of your other online accounts—for example, if it had previously been shared on your Facebook profile or Linked In profile – then your real identity could be easily discovered.
Face it (no pun intended): there are a number of ways your online dating profile can be connected to your real identity, especially if you have a robust online life. Before uploading a photo, consider whether you’ve used it in other contexts.
At least one study suggests that it’s possible that even photos you have never uploaded before could be used to figure out your identity.
So think hard about how you’d feel if a potential employer or acquaintance found personal data about you on a dating site.
But in Bonneau’s experiment with 16 popular websites, removing the photo from the main website didn't always remove it from the Content Delivery Network; in those cases, anyone who still had the destination URL would be able to view the photo.