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Family & Relationships Your favorite dating site isn’t as private as you think

13:35  13 february  2020
13:35  13 february  2020 Source:   vox.com

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Some companies track you on dating sites more than others, too. When the company behind Ghostery, a browser extension that blocks data trackers, studied eight prominent datings sites , including Match and OkCupid, it found that trackers from Facebook and Google were on every single

As you search online for a soulmate (or a friend) this Valentine’s Day, you might be surprised to hear that Facebook, Google, and a host of other companies may come along for the ride. That’s because these firms are in the advertising business, and tracking what you do — even your visits to dating …

  Your favorite dating site isn’t as private as you think © Getty As you search online for a soulmate (or a friend) this Valentine’s Day, you might be surprised to hear that Facebook, Google, and a host of other companies may come along for the ride. That’s because these firms are in the advertising business, and tracking what you do — even your visits to dating sites — helps them target ads and reveal consumer habits.

That shouldn’t be all that surprising. As Recode’s Rani Molla has explained, these platforms typically don’t charge for their services, because their business models are largely based on the ability to collect user data. Some companies track you on dating sites more than others, too. When the company behind Ghostery, a browser extension that blocks data trackers, studied eight prominent dating sites, including Match and OkCupid, it found that trackers from Facebook and Google were on every single one of them.

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Private browsing mode is a great way to shop for a surprise gift for that special someone; to log into multiple social media or shopping accounts on the same site with the same browser; or avoid seeing targeted ads as you browse. But it's not as private as some would think .

Many of these trackers help produce analytics and target ads, and those can give companies a good sense of who you are and your romantic interests. Let’s say you went to a specific page on Match.com, like a community page for Christians or a page about meeting musicians.

  Your favorite dating site isn’t as private as you think © Getty “Based on the URL, Match can start building some pretty specific lists from among their own users to target you on Facebook,” Jeremy Tillman, Ghostery’s president, told Recode. “It’s not that Match can just use the information that you generated at Match.com. Every other website that you visit that has the same Facebook tracker — of which 30 percent of the web have — it’s adding to your interest profile.” 

Ghostery found that Match had the greatest number of trackers — 36 in total — followed by OkCupid and the fifties-plus dating site Our Time. Meanwhile, the dating social network Badoo had just nine, including trackers from Google, Twitter, and Facebook.

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When you think of private browsing, you might think that no one can see what you did either on your computer or anywhere else. Your internet service provider can still see the IP addresses of the sites you visit. It’s the one that connects you , after all. And it’s a two-way street.

Some people think that incognito mode is equivalent to an invisibility cloak, shielding you from any and all prying eyes. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Most browsers straight up tell you that incognito mode isn ’ t really private directly on the page that pops up when you open it. Here’s exactly what it says on

It’s worth keeping in mind that Ghostery limited its findings to websites — not these platforms’ smartphone apps — and that some of these trackers are related to the rendering of a site itself, like Google’s font library. Recode reached out to Google and Facebook, but neither company had responded at the time of publication. Recode did hear back from Match Group, which owns Match, Tinder, OkCupid, Our Time, Plenty of Fish, and several other dating services.

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“Match Group companies use cookies to provide, secure and improve their services, measure site performance and usage and tailor ads to users’ interests. We do not sell user data,” the company said in a statement. “We understand that nothing is more important on a dating site than keeping personal information personal, which is why, unlike other tech companies whose business models rely on the sale of personal information, ours is subscription-based and reliant on engendering trust and being a great experience for users, NOT the sale of data.” 

41% Of Brits Are Less Likely To Date Someone If They List ‘Vegan’ On Their Dating Profile

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Hackers can access the unencrypted information, meaning they can grab any incriminating photos you may have taken or personal info like your address and phone number. They could even use the information they access to show up on your first blind date (unlikely, sure, but it's unnerving to realize

Your favorite dating site isn ’ t as private as you think . By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice and European users agree to the data transfer policy.

It’s true that you might pay for upgraded subscriptions for some Match services, but you can use services like Tinder and Plenty of Fish for free.

Tillman says that many of the trackers seen on dating sites are similar to those you might find on an e-commerce platform. Importantly, many of the trackers that Ghostery found are not from the biggest, most familiar companies. Take a tracker like Advertising.com or AppNexus, which also showed up on these sites. Keep in mind that it’s difficult to know what information these data trackers are collecting, exactly. While some might just be looking at the URLs you visit, Tillman says other trackers could potentially pick up more sensitive information, like your gender, sexual orientation, and dating preferences.

  Your favorite dating site isn’t as private as you think © Getty “Whatever your eyes can read — what you can copy and paste — a tracker could copy and paste into a cookie,” explains Tillman. “Facebook and Google say they’re simply collecting the pages you visit. But if you wanted to — and this is just an example — you could easily pull your profile name, or even the profiles of the names of the people that you’re looking at.”

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This Fake Amazon Dating Site Is ‘Selling’ People With Price And Reviews. Short Bytes: The web browsers we use are shipped with settings that promise private browsing to the users. In Google Chrome, this is known as the ‘Incognito’ mode whereas Firefox simply calls it ‘ Private ’ browsing.

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Ultimately, he says that everyone needs to consider the trade-off between their privacy and the benefit of making this data available to companies. But if you really are fine with targeted advertising infiltrating your love life, perhaps this Valentine’s Day will mean more cookies than chocolate.

Gallery: Dating before Tinder - Quaint photos reveal the highs and lows of courtship at the start of the 20th century (Daily Mail)

an old photo of a person: The world of courtship has moved on considerably since the 19th and 20th centuries - but as these stereo card pictures show, love struck suitors from yesteryear weren't without a sense of humor and impish behavior. This card, originally meant to be viewed through a binocular apparatus known as a stereoscope to create a 3D effect, is titled He loves me, he loves me not. Taken in 1906, the name certainly fits the image of a young woman plucking petals off flowers in her pursuit of love... while her suitor ogles her in the shrubbery. Scroll through to see more...

‘Stashing’ Is the Latest Dating Trend That’s Honestly Worse Than Ghosting .
‘Stashing’ Is the Latest Dating Trend That’s Honestly Worse Than GhostingStashing is when one person in a relationship makes the conscious decision to hide the other person from his or her inner circle, and yes, that includes both in real life and on social media. (Deep breaths.) Of course, this is so much more a reflection of the stasher than the stashee, but c’mon, it’s downright rude and hurtful as hell.

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