In May 2017 artist Joana Moll, alongside Tactical Tech, purchased 1 million online dating profiles for 136€ from USDate, a supposedly US-based company that trades in dating profiles from all over the globe. The batch of dating profiles we purchased included pictures (almost 5 million of them), usernames, e-mail addresses, nationality, gender, age and detailed personal information about all of the people who had created the profiles, such as their sexual orientation, interests, profession, thorough physical characteristics and personality traits. Purchasing this data exposed a vast network of companies that are capitalising on this information without the conscious consent of the users, whom ultimately are the ones being exploited. This project discloses the original dating profile dataset we received from USDate after purchasing it and offers an extensive report on the origin of the profiles and the vast network of companies that are capitalising on them.
Joana Moll is a Barcelona / Berlin based artist and researcher. Her work critically explores the way post-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans and ecosystems.