When using social media, privacy can be a tricky thing. Most people are aware that Facebook and Google knows a lot about their users, but may not necessarily consider other mobile applications like dating apps. People spend a significant amount of time on the Internet and on social media every day, and that includes social media integrated and enabled dating platforms such as Tinder.
People may assume that the personal information they give out stays private or that a platform may have limited information about them. According to The Guardian writer Judith Duportail, this assumption is wrong. In her article, she described how under European data protection legislation, she requested all the data that Tinder has collected about her. She was surprised when she found out how much information they had collected.
Every time Duportail would visit this app, Tinder was keeping track of her, whether it was looking at someone else’s profile, linking interests, swiping right and left on different people. She has also linked her other accounts like Facebook or Instagram, which led to an accumulation of vast troves of data about Judith’s personal and intimate life. This type of data empowers companies that sell goods or services that wish to have as much information about customers as possible.
It should be noted Tinder made it clear in its terms that no one should expect the information shared through their application to remain private. So much data can be misused by people with more advanced technological knowledge. And if Tinder wanted to, it could sell your data to third parties, such as advertisers or marketers. Sophisticated hacking attacks pose another threat. When companies accumulate huge databases of information, they become a “honeypot” for bad actors to target.
Since many people are aware on some level that their data is exposed, it may seem like a disconnect as to why they still share so much of their private information with online platforms. However, many people seem to make the tradeoff that a little loss of privacy is worth using services without having to pay for them. It is up to the individual consumer whether they want to make that tradeoff, given all the privacy risks out there.
Read more at The Guardian here.