Escort Data Security PinkDate

Hi there! I’m Sarah and I’m working with PinkDate in business and product development. You may have seen some posts by me on Twitter and reddit. If you’ve been following along with Pink, we’ve got some new updates to our policies and website, and we’re real close to showing you a demo product! Today I wanted to address the issue of escort data security.

There are a few well-known advertising platforms that escorts can use to promote themselves. In North America, Eros is used widely by escorts to advertise services, and P411 acts as a two-way communication channel between pre-screened clients and escorts. Both are widely used, but both have their problems.

Eros

Eros.com has been a long-standing escort advertising page, providing a clean platform, well-designed profiles and excellent customer service.

A big problem with Eros is their data storage. After you’ve used a valid government ID to sign up on their platform, they retain this data for 18 months after you’ve cancelled your account (by personal communication). There is no documentation on how they store their data, nor any confirmation provided that they’ve destroyed it after the 18 months is finished.

Regarding data privacy, Eros makes it clear that if subpoenaed, they will disclose your personal information to law enforcement, government, or regulatory officials if requested.

P411

Preferred 411 is a platform where clients can get pre-screened by Gina, and escorts can advertise their services. It works on a referral/review model. To be listed as a escort, you have to submit a government ID, go through a lengthy profile creation, and either have a P411 client vouch for you, or have a link to two public reviews that verify you’re an actual escort. For clients, you can pay a fee to register and Gina will verify you with a government ID, social media, disability benefits, education status, and/or employment information.

Client data never gets stored, yet escort data remains on file indefinitely. As a escort you need to request your data be removed from their site if you’ve left their platform, and this will only be completed if you are in good standing with P411 (i.e. non-abusive accounts). Gina insists that information is stored to ensure no duplicate accounts get set up, but this doesn’t make any sense since you can write them to ask to remove your data. But again, the issue of data security remains because P411 doesn’t provide any information on how the date is stored, or confirmation if it’s destroyed.

Gina indicates that data would only be released if a Canadian court issued a subpoena specifically asking for that information (P411 is Canadian-owned and held). To date they have not been subpoenaed for any information. Information on their privacy policies can be found here.

Why PinkDate is a better choice than Eros or P411

Data safety and security

Your data is stored in encrypted segments on separate systems, each heavily restricted. Instead of giving the web server full access to everything, all data requests go through a data gateway that controls access on a per-user basis and refuses to hand out more. Furthermore, none of these servers have a direct Internet connection or hard drives. All data is stored on an encrypted filesystem in RAM — the moment the server is physically accessed, it shuts down and everything is wiped. Restarting the databases is a manual process which restores encrypted backups directly into RAM. Read more about our security technology here.

So do you keep any data on file?

We keep a minimal amount of personal data on file. Here’s what we do.

When you join, you’ll be asked to hold up a picture of your government ID next to your face, and take a selfie. Our system will compare your face and the face provided on your ID to determine a match. It will also extract the birthdate on your ID. Two pieces of data are then stored — your birthday and the selfie photo. Your ID information is destroyed immediately after verification.

The birthdate and your selfie picture are given a code keyed off the birthday, then stored separately. When someone signs up, even with a different official ID (passport vs license), we compare all photos keyed on that birthdate. If we find a match, the new sign-up will be rejected as a duplicate.

So, we only keep the selfie photo and your birthday on file, and these two pieces of data are encrypted and stored anonymously.

The big picture

Data security is a real issue, and none of the current advertising platforms guarantee your protection as a escort. PinkDate is not like any other escort platform, though. We’re concerned about your privacy and data safety.

Questions? Email me at sarah@pinkdate.is. Or follow me on Twitter at @sarahpinkapp .