You already know that Facebook is sharing your personal data with advertisers.
That’s why that pair of sneakers you looked at briefly in your newsfeed is now cropping up everywhere. It’s also why minutes after you changed your relationship status to ‘engaged’, you started seeing more wedding adverts than ever before.
But, while Facebook might be the most publicised data sharing fiend, it isn’t alone in using your info for nefarious ends. In an era where so much of our interactions take place digitally, dating apps are also capitalising on your personal data.
Yep, that ‘choose your own adventure game’ that Tinder created isn’t the worst thing that they’re doing.
NPR breaks it down:
A group of civil rights and consumer groups is urging federal and state regulators to examine a number of mobile apps, including popular dating apps Grindr, Tinder and OKCupid for allegedly sharing personal information with advertising companies.
The push by the privacy rights coalition follows a report published on Tuesday by the Norwegian Consumer Council found that 10 apps collect sensitive information including a user’s exact location, sexual orientation, religious and political beliefs, drug use and other information and then transmits the personal data to at least 135 different third-party companies.
This is not the first time that Grindr has been outed for inappropriate use of consumer data. In 2018, it was revealed that the dating app had been sharing user’s HIV status with companies, raising questions about privacy, safety, and health.
This time, the report uncovered Twitter-owned advertising software in the app, which collects and processes personal information, such as the phone’s IP address, allowing advertisers to track users across devices.
The study found that OkCupid and Tinder are sharing details about a user’s sexuality, drug use, political views, and more to an analytics company called Braze.
The Match Group, the company that owns OKCupid and Tinder, said in a statement that privacy was at the core of its business, saying it only shares information to third parties that comply with applicable laws.
If you sift through the lawyer-speak above, you get to the crux of the problem. These companies are using the law against users.
Most people don’t take the time to read or understand the privacy policies before using an app, which means that when they click on that ‘agree’ button they don’t know what they’re signing up for.
That said, the information provided doesn’t necessarily cover all of the bases when it comes to what the app is doing with your private info.
Anyone who has ever used a dating app knows that the more information you reveal about yourself, the closer your matches will be on the app.
In that sense, it’s a double-edged sword. You need to feed the app information in order for it to work, but you have limited control over what happens to that information once it’s on there.
Maybe it’s time for a speed-dating revival.
It’s old-school, you get the date out of the way immediately, and nobody gets your personal info without your consent.
Besides, retro is cool, now. Right?
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