Many people in relationships worry about being cheated on. It’s a legitimate concern. But how far would you go to confirm your suspicions or feed your paranoia? Whether it’s the much-maligned Tinder or sites that facilitate cheating, Ashley Madison, there are plenty of avenues for someone hell-bent on cheating. It’s not hard at all. To add fuel to the already blazing fire, many surveys have revealed that many married and committed people are on Tinder too.
Digital infidelity is a thing, thanks to the likes of Tinder, Ashley Madison, etc., And there are several apps and sites that have sprung up, claiming to help the jealous, paranoid, and suspicious spouses/partner catch their significant others in the act online.
Image source: Tinder
And the latest entrant which was launched to out the cheaters among Tinder users is Swipe Buster. For a mere $4.99, it allows a user to see if their cheating partner (or friend, or ex, or family member, or colleague) is on there.
Here’s how the app works: a user enters the name, approximate location, and age of the person they want to check up on. Once the site has these details, Swipe Buster pulls up Tinder API (Application Programming Interface) and cross-references the data that was entered against the app’s database. Then, it’s a matter of pulling up a series of profile photos that fit the criteria, so that the user can winnow down the various options that are shown, to pinpoint the person they’re looking for.
Vanity Fair was able to get a hold of the brain behind Swipe Buster, a software marketing employee, who wishes to remain anonymous. Talking to Vanity Fair, he said,
“There is too much data about people that people themselves don’t know is available. Not only are people oversharing and putting out a lot of information about themselves, but companies are also not doing enough to let people know they’re doing it.”
He said that his intention was not to make a quick buck off of other people’s misery but to bring to light the security flaw of the much-used and much-maligned dating app Tinder. He wants to educate people about how much of their personal data is vulnerable and how easily others can get access to it without doing anything illegal. Swipe Buster gets all the information from Tinder’s API, which is public information, until they choose to close it.
Swipe Buster isn’t one of a kind when it comes to fishing out cheating partners. There are a slew of options available for suspicious and/or jealous and/or paranoid partners to catch their significant others in the act.
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However, this service could be seriously misused by a jealous ex, a spurned lover, or an abusive ex, as pointed out by Sam Escobar, beauty editor at Good Housekeeping. She tweeted, “Did anyone think about the potential danger of an obsessive/abusive ex utilizing this?” She followed it up with, “1 of the most terrifying things about leaving someone abusive is that they’ll use anything, especially technology, against you (sic).”
She couldn’t be more right. A truly obsessed person would stop at nothing to track down the object of their sick fascination, and Swipe Buster would only be facilitating it. In response to Swipe Buster, a Tinder spokesperson pointed out, “Searchable information on the website is public information that Tinder users have on their profiles.” It just shows that the information can be found anyway, with or without Swipe Buster, if only you know how to get to it.
Let’s just hope that Tinder makes its API a closed one and protects its users’ information.
What lengths would you go to confirm your suspicions about your partner? Would you use technology like Swipe Buster to do it? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.