OkCupid (and other online dating site) users might be surprised to learn that certain third-party users of the online dating site have been able to read their private correspondence for years now. While OKCupid recently addressed the privacy issue, third party “moderators” are still gaining limited access to some private user information.
What sort of information? They could look in on private conversations between two OKCupid users, as well profile info that wasn’t available to the public, including photos, email address, and other contact info. Only one person in the conversation–the person who asked the moderator to look in–knew it was being watched by an outsider.
Over the past few years, OkCupid has granted “moderator” status to select regular users of the website. The moderators seem to have acquired this privilege by a random computer algorithm, giving preference to active longer-term users who have had no complaints filed against them. Oddly, it seems some moderators did not even request the status.
Worst of all, some moderators have taken advantage of their unexpected front row seats to the online interactions between OkCupid users. At the expense of unsuspecting users, some moderators have posted users’ private interactions to blogs such as http://thatsnotokcupid.com/. While blogs like this highlight some of the darker, creepy, and dangerous sides of interacting with users on dating sites like this, it is perhaps more indicative of the dangers of trusting a big-name website with your private information.
For more on OKCupid privacy, check out our blog post: “Your privacy on OKCupid: the unromantic truth.”