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Tinder isn’t the only dating app that’s violated the privacy of users who trusted the company with their location data.Grindr, which calls itself “the world’s largest gay social network app,” has come under fire for enabling users to be tracked closely, since Grindr tells you the location of other users in your area.The privacy implications are obvious, and are something that Grindr should take more seriously, especially because of the continuing frequency of attacks on LGBT individuals.Luckily, not every privacy violation on the part of a dating app or website will leave your location vulnerable to stalkers.Some users have held out on making a Tinder account until the company decides to enable users to sign up without sharing their Facebook logins — though you may end up waiting a while for that kind of privacy-minded option.An alternative is to create a Facebook account just for your Tinder use.Here’s how seven popular dating sites and apps have violated users’ privacy over the years.Tinder is a fun dating service for the smartphone generation, but its integration with Facebook can compromise the privacy of an activity that most people don’t want their Facebook friends snooping on.
Grindr could implement protections that stop users from changing their own location repeatedly, or introduce some rounding error to make other users’ locations less precise.
And popular dating services rarely prioritize strong privacy practices, which means they’re often riddled with vulnerabilities.
As Min-Pyo Hong of SEWORKS recently reported for Venture Beat, the top dating apps are “just waiting to be hacked.” Each app that SEWORKS analyzed was decompilable, which means that hackers could reverse-engineer and compromise the app.
Depending on your privacy settings, your profile can be indexed by search engines, and services like Google Image Search can connect the photos on your profile with your real identity, as Carnegie Mellon researchers demonstrated.
Dating sites collect data on you — such as your age, interests, ethnicity, religion, and more — and lend or sell it to marketers.