As if finding true love online weren’t challenging enough. Now a Florida-based company ruining things for all of us by stocking dating websites with fake profiles.
An investigation by BBC's documentary series Panorama revealed that a company called USDate provides fake user data—including names, sexual orientation, and photographs—to dating websites to artificially grow their userbase. The BBC purchased 10,000 profiles, including "pictures of stars such as movie stars Brad Pitt and Michael Caine," the Daily Mail reported.
This contradicts information on the USDate claiming its profiles are "genuine and that the profiles were created and belong to real people actively dating today and looking for partners."
"10,370,155 active dating profiles for sale, on average only 1–3 months old," USDate states on its site. "1,000 profiles with photos only for $10.72. The source of our profiles is a global network of dating websites."
USDate has profiles geared toward English, European, Latin, and Asian audiences. Following the BBC's report, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is now investigating USDate.
"What concerns me more than anything is the scale of this," the ICO's Simon Entwisle told the Mail. "It’s not just an odd incident, it seems to me to be a matter of course and routine. And that gives me even greater cause for concern."
Photo by juan-antonio-capo/Flickr