Is OK Cupid Selling Your Answers to Their Questions?

A recent rebroadcast on 60 Minutes about data brokers raises an interesting question: is dating site OK Cupid selling your answers to their questions, along with enough information to personally identify you, such as your IP address?

During the segment, security expert and researcher Ashkan Soltani opined that it would not be difficult for data brokers to match your answers to the OK Cupid questions along with the IP address from which you were logged in in order to match up your name and email address with your OK Cupid answers.

Aside from the general concern over how much of your data the data brokers are aggregating, curating, and selling (and make no mistake, this is a great concern as it is), that information that you assume to be so private and personal such as your answers to questions such as these, brings with it a whole new level of concern:

Actual OK Cupid Questions
ok cupid questions

Is OK Cupid bundling your answers to these questions along with your IP address and selling it, bundled, to data brokers? Most likely not, but as Soltani points out, the data brokers are getting at least some of the information from OK Cupid, and, says 60 Minutes’ Steve Kraft, “it is not difficult for data brokers to match that information with other online identifiers,” adding that “There are firms that specialize in doing it.”

OK Cupid’s privacy policy doesn’t offer much comfort, saying that, among other things, “You should appreciate that all information submitted on the Website might potentially be publicly accessible. Important and private information should be protected by you. We are not responsible for protecting, nor are we liable for failing to protect, the privacy of electronic mail or other information transferred through the Internet or any other network that you may utilize. See Humor Rainbow’s privacy policy for more information regarding privacy.

Humor Rainbow’s privacy policy, posted on the OK Cupid site, in turn references their parent company, IAC, saying that, among other things, “Ok Cupid is a part of the IAC family of businesses (please see www.iac.com), which as of the date of this policy includes Match.com, Ask.com, About.com, CityGrid.com, websites owned by People Media, Meetic, College Humor, and many other companies and websites. We may obtain both personal and non-personal information about you from other IAC businesses, business partners, contractors and other third parties and add it to our account information or other information we have collected. We may also recieve information about our users from third party social platforms, such as Facebook. When you access or use our website or mobile application through such a site you allow us to access or collect information made available by the third party site in accordance with its privacy policy. This information may be available from your profile or account with such site or from cookies placed on your device by the third party platform.

And that’s just the data that they collect and aggregate, before you even get to the tracking they are allowing on their site by third-parties, or data that they may be selling to same.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this is IAC’s front page:

iac ok cupid

 

So does all of this mean that OK Cupid is actually selling your answers to their questions? Nobody knows definitively or, if they do, they aren’t saying.

But we know that we sure won’t be answering any questions on OK Cupid that we wouldn’t want our mothers or priests to see.

You can read a transcipt of the 60 Minutes segment here, or watch the video below.

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Is OK Cupid Selling Your Answers to Their Questions?
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Is OK Cupid Selling Your Answers to Their Questions?
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Is dating site OK Cupid selling your answers to their questions, along with enough information to personally identify you, such as your IP address?
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