You stop into your favorite watering hole after a long week at work and what should happen but you meet somebody cute. And not only are they cute, they’re seemingly single, obviously interested and there’s even a bit of a spark.
So what do you do? Give them your card? (That’s backfired before.) Give them a deep wet kiss in the back of the coat closet? (Only to be surprised by “sudden spouse syndrome” three weeks down the line.) Or do you pull out your iPhone and do a quick background check while they’re in the loo so you can find out if they’re a creep or a con man or a convicted pedophile before things get out of hand.
My latest Tech story for MSNBC.com looks at DateCheck, a brand new mobile phone app that (for a fee) lets you plumb a slew of public databases to find out if Mr. or Ms. Seemingly Wonderful is married, a convicted felon or worse, a weekend clog dancer.
Some singles love having a “private dick” in the palm of their hands; others feel this sort of access to private information — i.e., a person’s address, employer, property tax records, a record of their unpaid parking tickets — is a bit of a slippery slope. Or just plain old unethical.
What do you do think? Would you want to get the 411 on a complete stranger (and/or have them be able to get it on you?). Or do you prefer to trust your gut when it comes to potential suitors. Discuss among yourselves. I’ll be in the coat closet awaiting your answer.