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They Want What? blog post hero image

They Want What?

It seems some of the larger advertising sites are now asking for "verification" for people wishing to advertise. Now I understand the rationale behind it, preventing under age escorts traffickers and scammers, however there are some serous considerations we urge everyone considering this to think about..


As they used to say in the playgrounds show me yours and I will show you mine!

Who are these people, where are they based and what safeguards do they have in place to protect your data? Let's deal with these one by one.

1. Firstly and most important unless they are willing to provide you with full details of who they are, not just an anonymous offshore company you can not research, why would you trust your very personal data to them? Passport details, addresses, date of birth etc. these are more than enough to do you serious damage, maybe hack bank or online accounts or at the very least violate your privacy. While this is relevent in the real world as well, it is perhaps more important in the escorting world where many girls and guys need or choose to hide their real identities from their families and employers.

2. Assuming you can actually verify the sites owners identity to your satisfaction you need to know what safeguards they have in place to protect your data. There have been many instances of on-line hacks, one of the largest being Ashley Maddison who had their members details stolen and sold on the dark web, it ended many marriages it is claimed. Any organisation trading in the UK needs to have a data retention policy. For example is the information held on-line or off? Is it encrypted so even if stolen is largely worthless? Also if you choose to leave the site how long is data retained and in what format? Again as I said above this is crucial in the "real" world, again more so in the escort business.

3. Ascertain where the site owners are based, if in some low regulation zone ask yourself why. OK it could be for tax reasons, but it could also be to escape the type of regulation points 1 and 2 above cover, or to hide behind shell companies.

4. Look at their terms of business (presuming they have one) what rights are you giving them, for example post any information on Facebook it then belongs to them to do with as they please. Now Facebook may be "reputable" thats a matter of perspective, a faceless company you can not correspond with is less likely to be "responsible" and your data could be used anywhere so check!

5. One last thing to consider while the internet makes a lot of things very easy, once it's out there it's out there, getting it removed or keeping control of it is often nearly impossible, and getting assurances your data has been permanently removed even more so. If a site will not even respond to active advertisers what chance if you have left the site?

 

In essence this boils down to using common sense, I doubt many people would hand their personal details to a complete (effectively masked) stranger, but that is what escorts seem to being asked to do. The lure of on-line exposure and advertising potentially turning into income and a large web presence should not blind you to the very real risks of exposing you and your family that exist from phishing and identity theft. Providing information to process a payment online through a reputable payment gatewayis one thing, this is very heavily regulated and you have recourse. Providing a lot of intimate personal details to an anonymous website is another thing entirely.

As I said above show me yours, I will show you mine.

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