A database consisting of the identities of nearly 70,000 users of dating website OKCupid has been published on the internet, according to Motherboard.
A paper, “The OKCupid dataset,” written by researchers at two universities in Denmark, reveals profile information, including usernames and sexual preferences.
While much of the data would be viewable to anyone signing up for the dating service, the exposure in a document made public on the internet skirts ethical considerations and calls into question what information intended as private should be made freely accessible, commentators say. OkCupid said the researcher’s publication “violated the company’s terms of service.”
Emil Kirkegaard and Julius Bjerrekar used a scraper – a browser extension developed for data extraction from web pages – to collect the data.
A doctoral student at Indiana University claimed in a tweet that he could correlate the bits of data to actual names of more than 10,000 of the OkCupid users.