I know it’s sometimes difficult to think of the individual user when you run a dating site or work for a dating company. When I worked in one, we used to often think of things in terms of trends, statistics, demographics. When we started a new site, we’d sometimes populate it with suitable people from our database and email them to say they got a new account set up. Sometimes we’d even give them a trial subscription to try it out. Some people complained, but most only complained because they didn’t realise the new website was also owned by us and thought we’d sold their details on. We figured, these people already have us our details, so they might like to try a new site where they can meet more people, especially if they can try it out for free. I still don’t see anything inherently wrong with that. There are also a few companies that run white label dating sites where the whole business model is based on providing new websites in the “family” with an off the shelf database to kick things off. But when you start selling your users’ data to the highest bidder, well, that’s just plain nasty.
Check out this article about this worrying trend. I won’t call it a new trend, because it’s been going on for years. It’s just that now someone’s caught on and is spreading the word.