Why have online dating sites forced us into overshare?

From the lonely hearts pages we use to giggle over, to the global dating sites we know and often use today, one consistency remained which was the anonymous user name. BlueEyes27 or Sweetlips_12 were typical pseudonyms that protected the lovelorn from being sniggered over at work or worse stalked by an obsessive psychopath.

So what changed? Tinder came along and utilised our Facebook login, I say utilise but in fact its users were required to use their Facebook login which then created an account with the users real name, age and job. This means in one click the singleton is up and swiping, doing away with the lengthy journey of creating a traditional profile full of likes and dislikes and of course creating a fitting username.

Tinder created a landscape that has knocked on to hundreds of other dating sites and apps where the user can use their Facebook login as authentication, and we joined up in droves.

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

― Benjamin Franklin

So why did we stop seeing our privacy as something to protect? Perhaps sites such as Instagram, where we compete for likes and followers have encouraged us to throw caution to the wind in the hope of building our popularity amongst strangers. The more I have personally spoken to the users and the site owners at my events and industry briefing’s, the response seems to be that when we are told to do something by a site we trust, i.e. Facebook, then we believe that it is safe.

In other words Facebook told me to do it. But even though Facebook and Google are by far the two most frequently used services for logging in to other sites, Facebook snared 62% of all social log-ins across the tens of thousands of sites that support it (as of the end of 2015); Google is used 24% of the time according to Gigya, a customer identity management company.

Social networks want to be a trusted source for verifying your identify. In fact, at the Facebook developers conference this year, the company announced a service called Delegated Account Recovery, which would let you use Facebook to verify your identity if you forget your password on an app or website.

Yet social networks don’t inherently have value as a trusted source of identity. Privacy is not the main concern of a social network; like any for-profit company, its focus is on monetizing its product.

We the product; traded our privacy for ease of use, to have a one click login we left ourselves open to not just hackers but real world stalkers who could find out our full name, address and place of work within minutes and we are starting to get more and more concerned about this.

With this in mind there are a new breed of cyber-security companies who are putting safety of users first. PixelPin have created a login that is not only secure and easy to use, but independent of the users social media. So you can have a social media style login that doesn’t actually connect with your social media. Thus keeping our data and our names private until we feel ready to share them our hopefully our hearts with the ideal partner.

For more details contact gaia@pixelpin.co.uk

Or visit: www.pixelpin.co.uk