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Publicly released OkCupid profiles taken down due to DMCA claim

Engadget Engadget 18/05/2016 Andrew Dalton
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A cache of 70,000 OkCupid profiles posted online in the name of scientific "research" last week has been taken down due to a copyright claim. The data was scraped from the dating site by Emil Kirkegaard and Julius Daugbjerg Bjerrekær, two graduate students at Aarhus University in Denmark, who then posted the information on Open Science Framework.

While the data was somewhat anonymous, it did include usernames, locations and personal information like sexual orientation, political leanings or turn-ons, and as Motherboardexplained last week it wouldn't have been difficult to reverse engineer the data set to identify individuals.

At the time, OkCupid claimed the scraping the site for data violated the site's user agreement and it now appears Open Science Framework is complying with OkCupid's DMCA claim. "The repository is currently unavailable due to a DMCA claim sent by OKCupid. It's unclear to me which part they claim copyright on," Kirkegaard told Retraction Watch.

Kirkegaard also edits a research journal called Open Differential Psychology, where he submitted a paper based on the data, but that paper is now subject to "internal discussions." After the controversy broke, Aarhus University distanced itself from Kirkegaard, stating that the OkCupid project was not part of his student work at the university.

Retraction Watch

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