To be able to see which data each dating app collects, we had to make an account for each dating app. Then we started to collect info from the apps to an excel. We also did a non-scientific “stalking test”: we tried to find out, how easy it is to identify people based on the dating app account. For this test we took the first three matches from each app we used. Then we did what any curious person would do: we googled them. We used Google image search and traditional Google search. 8 out of 9 of our matches we were able to identify with this methodology, even the dating app account often only shows the first name and pictures.
What was the hardest part of this project?
Tricky part was to make the dating app profiles, because there are restrictions, which kind of fake id’s you can use as a journalist. Our accounts had to be “human” enough, but not misleading too much. We wanted matches, but not to get involved.
What can others learn from this project?
To collect data can sometimes be really hands-on.