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This can be a great was to build an online identity, but it can also make it trivial to tie our activity on various services together.

(The use of photo editing tools also becomes blatantly obvious, which can be a cause for some embarrassment.) Ensure you remove identifying metadata from photos before posting them onto your dating profile.

If you’re concerned about dating site matches finding your online presence, or people online finding your dating profile, just don’t reuse usernames or email addresses!

A few years ago, image recognition on a large scale was restricted to law enforcement and corporate security. Free services like Tineye and Google Images will search billions of indexed images on the internet for identical or similar pictures.

This isn’t necessarily traditional hash or metadata specific – cropping or resizing an image is not a foolproof way to defeat this (as I show in the screenshot below, where Tineye and Google correctly identified my profile selfie which is substantially cropped on social media).

The photos are visually similar enough that the search engines’ algorithms can draw a connection.

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This is an easy way for someone with malicious intent to draw connections between a dating site profile username and your ‘real’ life, even if your profiles are correctly private or hidden.

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