Today, New York City’s task force on cyber sexual assault revealed that it has discovered more than 70,000 photos of Tinder users on a popular cybercrime forum. All of the photos seem to be of users who identify as women.
Officials’ concern is promising — It’s terrible that these photos were stolen — but it’s very good that government officials, even at the local level, are taking this seriously.
“This type of invasive technology poses a profound threat to our basic liberties, civil rights, and academic freedom,” Aaron DeVera, a member of the task force, told Gizmodo.
If anything good at all can come from situations like this, it’s the potential for much-needed changes to privacy law. The legal system just hasn’t been able to catch up to the massive, exponential growth of the internet.
Privacy is increasingly elusive — Unfortunately, this type of compromised user data is showing its face with increasing frequency. And it’s usually the most personal data that ends up leaking. Just today, personal information from at least 4,000 cam models was found to be leaked on an unknown server. A recent report showed that popular dating apps Grindr, OkCupid, and Tinder have been sharing sensitive user data with third-party advertisers. Earlier this month, a popular love hotel website was hacked, allowing hackers access to a wealth of personal information.
The photos haven’t leaked... yet — This is always the most nerve-wracking part, especially because dating app data is so very personal. No one knows why the photos were stolen. None of the photos or data have been reported as having leaked, but that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future. This leaves open a frightening number of unpleasant potential uses for the photos, not the least of which is mass fraud.