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    Star (Canada): eHarmony dating site targeted by privacy watchdog

    The Star reports that Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is looking into eHarmony’s privacy policies:

    The Canadian privacy watchdog went after a popular online dating website for not allowing users to delete their profiles permanently after they found love — or gave up looking.

    “With Canadians increasingly likely to meet their romantic matches online, it’s no surprise that we also found ourselves investigating an Internet dating site,” says the annual report of the federal Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart tabled to Parliament on Tuesday.

    A woman who signed up for an account with eHarmony.ca, the Canadian website of the Internet dating site based in Santa Monica, Calif., filed a complaint with privacy commissioner when she discovered she was able to log into her account even after having asked the website to delete it. […]

    During the resulting investigation, eHarmony explained that it did not permanently delete accounts — which included answers to highly personal questions ranging from income to sexual vitality — because 40 per cent of users reactivate within two years and save time by having their information already on file.

    The privacy watchdog noted that still left a 60-per-cent majority of users having their information kept indefinitely for no reason, so recommended allowing members to have a choice between deactivation and permanent deletion and explain the difference in the privacy policy. […]

    Stoddart noted eHarmony is not the only Internet dating site that raises privacy concerns.

    “A quick scan of other sites reveals that some do not even have the privacy policies. Some that have privacy policies do not specify how they handle personal information after a user is no longer active on the site.

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