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    CanWest News Service: Privacy watchdog probes dating site

    The CanWest News Service reports on an investigation by Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart of an online dating service:

    Her office received a complaint from an individual about six months ago, Stoddart said in an interview with Canwest News Service. The issue was not resolved through mediation with the company and her office has now moved to an official investigation phase.

    Stoddart is bound by law to keep the name of the dating company confidential but depending on the results of her investigation she may be able to publicize it later. At the very least her office will release a report about the review generally, she indicated. […]

    She can’t discuss details about the specific complaint that she’s investigating but said the nature of it has to do with a user of a dating website that is concerned about what the company does with personal information once an account is de-activated. […]

    Storage of personal information is just one of several privacy issues that people should be aware of when using dating websites, said Stoddart.

    “You put up a lot of very personal information,” she said, and users should be conscious of who has access to it and what they are revealing about themselves, Stoddart added. […]

    Users should do their homework and check the privacy policy of a dating website, said Stoddart. It will often stipulate the company’s practices around gathering information, how it is used, who has access to it, how long it is kept, and security features for guarding the information. A privacy policy should be written in plain language so it is easy for users to understand, said Stoddart.

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