Data, dating apps and the harsh consequences of permissions

Tinder

Angie reminded me of something I forgot to wrote about many months ago. She pointed at BBC’s you and yours programme.

People who use dating apps to meet potential new partners have told You & Yours that they’re concerned about their privacy, after finding that Facebook has gained access to the details of people they’ve been speaking to. The names of people they’ve been matched with on the dating apps are appearing in their “suggested friends” on Facebook. We investigate how social media sites access our personal information and how users give their permission.

Yes, this isn’t new…! Dating apps like Hinge and Tinder use you as a matchmaker without your permission.

If you’ve got a robust Facebook friend list filled with single people who use dating apps like Hinge or Tinder, chances are you’ve appeared as a mutual friend between two different matches.

When your face appears as a link between people, you legitimize their connection. You become a topic of conversation, an “in” to launch a potential relationship.

Even if you don’t use these dating apps yourself, your personal information can still appear, because when your friends started using the apps, they gave the services permission to access their friend lists to display in-network matches.

There’s no way to avoid appearing as a mutual friend unless you unfriend everyone using these dating apps or delete your Facebook account. Even if your friend list is private, you’re still visible to these apps as a friend of a user who opted into sharing that information.

The potential consequences could be discomforting. Let’s say there’s a person on your friend list whom you added years ago and about whom you no longer know anything. If he matches with one of your good friends, she might decide to go on a date with him in part because of your online friendship, which can be misconstrued as approval from her social group.

The fact is Facebook has access to that data and when we install these apps, we are givng permission to them to do what they like with that data. Permissions is something which can add a bandaid to things but its not a permanent solution. I must find the bit in the FB EULA which says it basically snoop on and use the data requested from a 3rd party app. You didn’t think FB was doing it out of the kindness of their cold heart did you? Wake up and smell smoke. Its a harsh reality which I think people are still only just waking up to…. Linked data is still a concept which has really been picked up.

Seek forgiveness not permission

Seek forgiveness not permission - SOTM

Just come back from another #SMC_MCR (Social Media Cafe) and SomeoneOnceToldMe was talked about.

Of course I added my own which I’ll talk about once it goes up. However Mario highlighted the picture above as a example.

Now for me this is Tom Loosemore’s famous phrase. So famous, I don’t actually know where it originally comes from till now…

I’m now aware thanks to Paul Downey its credited to Grace Hopper

What’s more she achieved all of this in a world of institutional discrimination against women and whilst working inside an authoritarian bureaucracy, which is probably why she is often attributed with the quote: “It’s easier to ask forgiveness than it is to seek permission“. The breadth of her accomplishments led to her earning the nickname “Amazing Grace”

Tom said “I have stopped using that phrase! See http://vimeo.com/58798945

Shame because it still rings true… No matter what Tom says now, he’s influence is clear to see. And with that in mind, I rip the picture from the example for my blog. Sure Mario will understand

Parody videos – the start of a remix

Hugh pointed at the importance of parody videos as the start of an important conversation.

I was speaking to a group of students at Salford University earlier this month about the cultural value of parody videos. Even the terrible ones. I made the arguement that the really terrible ones may be more important than the really good ones.

Let me explain.

As I pointed out yesterday most people are waiting for permission to make their moves. As social creatures we take our cues from those around us. We are a nation that needs nudging. We like to copy. Mark Earl talks about this in his book ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having‘.

I explained to the students that for every terrible parody video on Youtube there will be hundreds of super talented viewers saying to themselves “I can do better than that”. The terrible parody video is what it took to kickstart their creative career.

He’s right…

Growing up in cultural revolution of Acid, House and Rave. Not only were these forms of music demonised by the mainstream (can never forgive BBC Radio 1 for not playing Rave music). They claimed there was no talent involved and it was simply pressing buttons.

This may have been true in some cases but frankly it inspired a whole generation of other people to give it a try and write their own tunes. Some of them were successful and others just had fun.

So no matter how much I hate the gangnam style stupid dance. Hopefully it will encourage others to do there own thing instead of just jumping on the bandwagon.

The remix is one of the most important trends we have and it does fit with hugh’s people are waiting for permission too.