He or she will very likely check search engine caches for old pictures or bios that are easier to identify or contain embarrassing details.
If you’re concerned about dating site matches finding your online presence, or people online finding your dating profile, just don’t reuse usernames or email addresses!
A few years ago, image recognition on a large scale was restricted to law enforcement and corporate security. Free services like Tineye and Google Images will search billions of indexed images on the internet for identical or similar pictures.
It has to do with hidden information, or ‘metadata’, which is tacked onto most pictures by phones, photo editing software, and digital cameras.
You can’t see EXIF metadata without using special tools, but it may contain startling amounts of information about where the photo was taken, by whom, and when.
If you’ve changed your username, he or she may be able to find the previous version.
Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy thing to fix after the damage is done.
If I were forced to pick only one error which causes dating site members the most personal embarrassment over the long term, it’s forgetting this.
A single mistake made months earlier can haunt you.
This can be a great was to build an online identity, but it can also make it trivial to tie our activity on various services together.
Even if your registered username isn’t immediately visible in a dating profile, it’s often visible in the URL of your profile, your profile photo filenames, or during communication with other users.
This isn’t necessarily traditional hash or metadata specific – cropping or resizing an image is not a foolproof way to defeat this (as I show in the screenshot below, where Tineye and Google correctly identified my profile selfie which is substantially cropped on social media).