If You Use The Dating App “Tinder,” Here’s How Much Private Personal Data They Collect About You
Online dating has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the help of user-friendly apps like Tinder.
Tons of my friends actively use Tinder, and many met their current partners through the app. If you’ve never used Tinder, it’s basically a dating app that helps connect people. You can upload a few pictures of yourself and make a super short bio, allowing people to get a quick glimpse into your life (or at least your physical appearance).
Then, your profile gets thrown into the pool of other, similar profiles. Users can then browse through the profiles of other users, swiping left or right to state whether or not they’re interested in a specific person. If two users have swiped right on each other’s profiles, indicating that they’re both interested in one another, they can then communicate over Tinder.
The upside is that users can only chat with one another if they’ve both “swiped right,” meaning that you won’t receive any unsolicited messages. Although I’ve never used the app myself, my friends thoroughly enjoy using it and have gone on tons of successful dates with some really great people. That’s because Tinder doesn’t just suggest random people for you to match with; Tinder has tons of data on you to help “personalize” your Tinder experience. In fact, if you have Tinder downloaded on your phone, the company could have hundreds of pages of data stored on you. Although the app is free, it turns out the true cost of using it could be your privacy.
There are 50 million other Tinder users out there. If Tinder stores the same amount of data on everyone, that means that the app could have 40 billion pages worth of information stored on its users. That’s a lot of data for one app, and a lot of information I’m sure a lot of people wouldn’t want to be made public. You may be sitting in your couch reading this article and thinking, “What happens if someone hacks into all of this and makes it public?” Well, let’s be honest, you’re taking that risk whenever you use technology anyways, right? A lot of people like to think of Tinder as a hub for dating, but it’s so much more than that. When you meet someone in real life and start to date them, they’re getting to know you organically, and vice versa. You may meet in the same book store, but you could have completely different taste in books. However, when it comes to Tinder, it’s kind of like you’re meeting in a single-genre only book store that only sells books written by the same author. You may not find romance novels next to books on conspiracy theories because their algorithms may prevent that. Tinder matches you with people based on the data they collect on you, and so there’s less room for “opposites to attract.” When you meet someone in real life, they only notice your quirks, take note of your interests, and learn about your job and specific details of your life when you want them to. When you meet someone on Tinder, you may be tempted to make a snap judgement based on their profile, and then “creep” them a little more online instead of getting to know them in person. Plus, texting someone and getting to know them in person are two very different things. I’m not saying that online dating is a bad thing! Some people are genuinely interested in finding romantic partners and struggle to find the right people to date in real life, and so online dating can be an excellent way for people to connect. However, it’s clear that there are some downsides to this, including invasion of privacy. With that, remember that the next person you’re chatting with on Tinder isn’t really the only person you’re disclosing your information to. You could be starting to share your life with another person, but in doing so you’re also sharing that information with technology, and who knows where that information will eventually go. .
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