OKCupid

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

OKCupid

Review date: March 15, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Very creepy

Way back in 2007, OKCupid was one of Time's top 10 dating apps. Launched in 2004, OKCupid has over 50 million users around the world. To sign up, you fill out a personality test and give your personal information. Based on that personality quiz, OKCupid's algorithm shows you a measurement of compatibility with potential matches. It's basically a percentage score that represents how likely OKCupid's algorithm thinks you are to click with someone. With no real transparency into their algorithm, who knows how accurate their compatibility measurement is. Good news though, you can also pay extra to have your profile shown to more users just in case. As their slogan says, "Dating deserves better."

What could happen if something goes wrong?

OKCupid joined the likes of Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, and Coffee Meets Bagel in that crowded gang in 2020 when researchers found a number of security flaws in OKCupid that could let attackers steal users' personal information, view their private messages, and hijack a user's account and pretend to be them. OKCupid has also been called out in a recent Norwegian Consumer Council study that found OKCupid may be sharing users' personal information like location, sexual preferences, and behavioral data with third parties and other Match Group brands in ways that may violate privacy laws. Finally, Match Group owns OKCupid and at least 45 other dating sites like Hinge, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish. When you sign up with one of these dating sites, the Match Group privacy policy states they may share your personal information with any of the other Match Groups sites for what they say are non-commercial limited and critical purposes. That's a lot of personal data you might have thought only going to once place getting shared across multiple dating sites. Without a lot of transparency into the algorithm, one concern when apps collect this information is it's hard to know how you might be matched and whether the apps have any potential bias. Security flaws, poor privacy practices, sharing data with who knows who, lack of transparency in their algorithms -- OKCupid maybe isn't the worst dating app for protecting users' privacy we've seen (looking at you Grindr), but it’s not great.

  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: No

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: No

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

In January 2020, the Consumer Council of Norway accused OKCupid of selling user data. Tinder definitely shares user data with around 45 other Match Group companies, such as Hinge, Tinder, and Plenty of Fish among others. The company shares data with third parties for purposes such as analytics, advertising and payment processing,.

How can you control your data?

Users can request a copy of their personal information, for it to be deleted, or for users based in California to request a notice disclosing the categories of personal information that OKCupid has shared with third parties for their direct marketing purposes.

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Needs Improvement

In July 2020 security researcher found vulnerabilities that exposes sensitive data of users. In addition, OKCupid allegedly shares personal user data with advertising companies that may violate privacy laws.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Pretty technical even though they claim to make it accessible.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

We were unable to determine if they use encryption to protect users' personal information, chats, photos, and more.

Strong password

Yes

A strong password is required

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

OkCupid takes part in a bug bounty program. The dating app encourages security researchers to disclose any potential vulnerabilities uncovered to [email protected]. https://www.okcupid.com/security

Privacy policy

Yes

Same as Tinder and Hinge, OkCupid's Privacy Policy states that "As with all technology companies, although we take steps to secure your information, we do not promise, and you should not expect, that your personal information will always remain secure”).

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

"OkCupid uses AI for recommendation and moderation purposes. From Harvard Business School: "With a reputation for being a highly data-driven company, OkCupid has relied on its machine learning algorithms to connect people. A higher match percentage means that a couple will have a higher likelihood of clicking, with different weights given to different questions. But beyond simply producing matches, OkCupid also incorporates machine learning as a community improvement tool. Its support & moderation team monitors machine learning alerts that detect harmful or abusive language. With the aid of technology, OkCupid can respond quickly to instances of harassment while bringing in human moderators on an as-needed basis"

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

No

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine

*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • Grindr and OkCupid Spread Personal Details, Study Says
    NY Times
  • Study says Grindr, OkCupid, and Tinder breach GDPR
    ZDNet
  • Love in a Hopeless Place: Machine Learning at OkCupid
    Harvard Business School
  • How Private Is Your Online Dating Data?
    Consumer Reports
  • OkCupid: Hackers want your data, not a relationship
    ZDNet
  • It's not OK, Cupid: Security flaws could expose user data and more
    Tech Republic
  • 50 million OKCupid users at risk due to security flaws — what to do now
    Tom's Guide
  • OkCupid Security Flaw Threatens Intimate Dater Details
    Threat Post
  • Your favorite dating site isn’t as private as you think
    Vox

Comments

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