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The systems by which data is collected, analysed, sold, traded and reused might be more complicated than you think.
Personal data is the goose that lays the golden egg in our modern economy.
Data promiscuity via social networks Facebook, which has 2 billion users, is the most ‘central’ social media platform, used by many of the dating apps to enable connections, as we can clearly see in the network map below.
Aside from Facebook however, different dating apps allow connections to other social media platforms, specifically: Linked In (500 million users), Twitter (330 million users), Google (2.2 billion registered profiles), Instagram (800 million users) and Spotify (210 million users).
According to Dehaye, the data collected by the app and shared with third parties is used for profiling and can affect your life when asking for a loan, applying for a job, a scholarship, or medical insurance.
In the case of Grindr, or other LGBT apps like Her, Gayromeo, etc, it could also be very dangerous if you end up trapped in an airport in one of the 10 countries that punish homosexuality with a death sentence.
For the millions of people who use online dating platforms, potential dates, hook-ups or even love are now just a click or a swipe away. The data we give away might seem like a small price to pay for the possibility of finding love, but what is happening in the background?
How data is collected, analysed, sold, traded or reused might be more complicated than we think.
In addition, if the connection is insecure, we can also capture which data points are being shared.For example, Tinder makes all encrypted requests over HTTPS, except to serve images.This means that someone monitoring network traffic can see the photos of all the Tinder profiles someone is viewing on the network or even introduce false pictures to the user’s feed.Paul-Oliver Dehaye, together with human rights lawyer Ravi Naik and journalist Judith Duportail, analysed the personal data from Duportail’s Tinder profile after asking the company to send it to her.They got 800 pages of all her activity in the app, as well as apps connected to her social media profiles such as Facebook) .