Say a Social website (not a dating website, but a website similar to Twitter) has an option in the Profile customization where the user can select their sexual orientation.

This is an optional field (can be blank), and the user has an option to choose whether Everyone can see that, or just Friends-only.

Per the following "Test" from ICO, it appears that the only thing that would make that Social website require a DPO (Data Protection Officer) is if the website processes special categories:

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/does-my-organisation-need-a-data-protection-officer-dpo/y/n/n

1) If the website does not have a "Search" filter on that field, and all it does is show that field on the Profile (as per user's choice), is that website still considered that is processing the field? (and therefore requiring a DPO)

2) As a related question, if the users on that website are free to discuss all their "special categories" on Posts (political opinions, religious beliefs, etc), and these Posts are searchable, does that mean that the website is processing those special categories?

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