ONLINE DATING ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?
Remember Match.com? It goes way back. Waaaaaaay back. It first hit the internets back in 1995. That’s like, dinosaur era when it comes to the online world. For those of us who are old enough to remember those pre-meteor days, it’s a disturbing nostalgia. But even more so for old services like Match Dotcom. But Match.com is back in the news, and not in a good way. If you had a Match.com account, it may be back! That’s because delete doesn’t mean what you think it means. Delete really just means hide. So if you had an account and deleted it, you might want to make sure your Zombie profile isn’t out stalking fresh prey. Old daters unite! And make sure young pictures of you with 90’s hair aren’t out there trying to get laid.
OLD DATERS DELETED THEIR PROFILES, BUT THEY LIVE ON, WITH PHOTOS
To be fair, deletion is all the rage these days. So is privacy. Well, maybe privacy has been all along. But now we know how screwed we’ve actually been with every Facebook revelation. Seriously, have you seen the #deleteFacebook stream? But delete doesn’t really mean delete. There’s not yet a law enforcing a purge of user data for “deleted” Facebook profiles. Nor, evidently, for Match Dotcom. Some former Match users recently received emails notifying them of a match. The problem? They “deleted” their profiles years ago.
NEW EU LAWS OF PRIVACY MAY SAVE US ALL FROM OUR ZOMBIE DATA
The Match Group issued a release confirming the issue. They just described it as a limited number of old accounts as returned zombie profiles. They claim it’s because of a password reset. But Match also said that because of their privacy statement that all users agreed to, they can “retain certain information associated with your account.” That certain information means your whole damn account, warts from the Bush years and all. Feel secure with that, old daters? Well, there is some hope on the horizon. And it’s coming from Europe. It’s called the General Data Protection Regulation, or the GDPR. The GDPR will give these zombie profiles the final death, requiring that “deleted” actually means deleted.
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BEWARE THE WALKING ZOMBIE PROFILES
But I have doubts. The GDPR applies to residents of the European Union. Sure, the internet giants will stumble their way to comply. But everyone else will, for now, continue on as Zombies, waiting to come back again and again.