If you want to meet someone, there are any number of big dating sites and apps available.
For romance, the major big dating players include Match.com, and e Harmony -- all promise long-lasting relationships.
According to an infographic entitled Big Data Seeks Online Love by the Berkeley School of Information, one in 10 Americans has used a dating site or mobile app, and 23 percent have met a spouse or long-term partner through these sites.
The final methodology used to access the data is not fully explained in the article, and the question of whether the researchers respected the privacy intentions of 70,000 people who used Ok Cupid remains unanswered.
I contacted Kirkegaard with a set of questions to clarify the methods used to gather this dataset, since internet research ethics is my area of study.
Concerns over consent, privacy and anonymity do not disappear simply because subjects participate in online social networks; rather, they become even more important. The Ok Cupid data release reminds us that the ethical, research, and regulatory communities must work together to find consensus and minimize harm.
We must address the conceptual muddles present in big data research.
Not to fan the flames on the social justice warriors.”I suppose I am one of those “social justice warriors” he's talking about. Rather, we should highlight this episode as one among the growing list of big data research projects that rely on some notion of “public” social media data, yet ultimately fail to stand up to ethical scrutiny.
The Harvard “Tastes, Ties, and Time” dataset is no longer publicly accessible. And it appears Kirkegaard, at least for the time being, has removed the Ok Cupid data from his open repository.
is an all-too-familiar refrain used to gloss over thorny ethical concerns.
The most important, and often least understood, concern is that even if someone knowingly shares a single piece of information, big data analysis can publicize and amplify it in a way the person never intended or agreed.
Michael Zimmer, Ph D, is a privacy and Internet ethics scholar.