Facebook Dating

Warning: *Privacy Not Included with this product

Facebook Dating


Review date: March 15, 2024


Mozilla says

People voted: Very creepy

The good thing about Facebook Dating is it's one of the few completely free dating apps out there. The bad thing about Facebook Dating is that it's Facebook, which has a terrible track record at protecting their users' privacy and personal information. So, what do you get with Facebook's free dating service, questionable privacy practices aside? You use Facebook Dating, launched in 2019, through your existing Facebook app, no need to install a new app (warning though, the Facebook app collects a lot of data on you if you chose to install it). Create a dating profile in the Facebook app and away you go. Facebook uses all the data it has on you (which is a lot) to find matches for you based on what you like, which events you've attended and which groups you're apart of. With Facebook Dating's Secret Crush feature, you can anonymously reach out to your crush (if they're on Facebook or Instagram) to see if they like you too. Cute! But is it worth giving Facebook and Meta even more of your personal data? Probably not.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Not to be dramatic, but Facebook and dating is a match made in privacy hell. You probably already know why but let's get into it anyway. Meta (you know, the company that used to be Facebook), has a very long history of betraying users' privacy and trust. They've faced record fines around the world for this and have been caught hiding data leaks from their users. In 2023 alone, Meta was fined another record-breaking 1.2B Euros for violating Europe’s GDPR. They were sued by 41 US states for “ensnar[ing] youth and teens [...] to maximize its financial gains”. And they were fined millions by Norwegian and European regulators for their handling of data for targeted advertising. Even though that’s all really terrible, it’s not that unusual for Meta. In 2022, they were fined $400m for the treatment of children’s data on Instagram and were involved in a data breach impacting 3 million patients of a healthcare center in the US. Then there was the admission that over one million Facebook users’ login info may have been compromised due to malicious apps stealing data through the Facebook third-party login (hey, Meta/Facebook did announce this themselves, so, good for them). Just to name a few of their recent hits. Then add all that to the Facebook whistleblower testimony in 2021 to the US Congress that outlined the harms Meta/Facebook causes and the dishonest way they approach dealing with these harms and Meta/Facebook appears to be one of most immoral companies we review in *Privacy Not Included.

So, yeah, the biggest red flag privacy-wise for Facebook Dating is that you have to have a Facebook account. And turning on Facebook Dating in your account means that Meta can assume you agree to Facebook Dating's Supplemental Privacy Policy on top of Facebook's regular privacy policy -- which is a doozy. To do so, you have to give Facebook your gender and the gender you're interested in. So just know that they can use that information and other sensitive information about you that you might give for matching -- like your religion -- to "Improve the Dating experience." It's not totally clear what that means but probably that Facebook can use your sensitive personal information for their own research. They say they won't use that information to show you ads. Cool.

Aside from that, Dating will collect information about all of your activities and interactions -- just like they do whenever you're on Facebook. Everything you post, messages you send, things you "like," anyone you match or connect with, groups you belong to, Facebook pages you visit... You get the idea. Aside from the information you put in your profile and how you act on the app, Facebook collects a bunch of data automatically from your device. That includes location-related information "even if Location Services is turned off in your device settings," your phone's battery level (for some reason), and "[a]pp files names and types" to name a few. Oh and remember that unless you changed your settings early on, Facebook could also have access to your camera, photos, and GPS location. Because they collect metadata from your camera too (greedy!) they'll know where you took all your photos and videos, and when you took them. So check those device settings, folks!

Facebook Dating might also ask you to upload a video selfie for third-party AI-powered age verification. Now there's a cluster of words that send chills up a privacy researcher's spine! Meta says that the verification is anonymous and that the selfie is deleted once Yoti (the third party) guesses your age. That sounds OK but does require you to trust Facebook to do as they say. Facebook Dating also uses AI for matching and to help you draft messages. Meta says that they they train their generative AI models on the photos and text in your public Facebook and Instagram posts as well as "information that's publicly available online". It's not totally clear to us what that means.

Another pretty weird thing about Facebook is that they also collect information about non-Facebook users. (So, everyone?) "We collect and receive information from partners, measurement vendors, marketing vendors and other third parties about a variety of your information and activities on and off our Products... We receive this information whether or not you're logged in or have an account on our Products." Saying "information" is pretty vague, so luckily Facebook lists some examples like the websites you visit, apps you use, and things you buy. Alrighty. "Partners" might also share your email address with Facebook.

Now, Facebook doesn't sell your data. But just like Amazon, they don't really need to since they have their own in-house ginormous ad business. So they do use your information for ads. And not surprising, but still disappointing, it's not clear whether all users have the right to get their piles and piles and piles of personal data deleted. So is Facebook Dating really "free," or do you just pay for it with your privacy? Hmmm... What could go wrong with Facebook Dating is that you give one of the world's biggest data-gobbling companies with the worst track records for protecting it information about your sex and love life.

One more note on Meta from a privacy researcher’s point of view. Trying to read through Meta's crazy network of privacy policies, privacy FAQs, privacy statements, privacy notices, and supplemental privacy documentation for their vast empire is a nightmare. And you can't even get access to most of those pages until you login or create a Meta or Facebook account. Once in, there’s so many documents that link to other documents that link back even more documents that understanding and making sense of Meta's actual privacy practices feels almost impossible. We wonder if this is by design, to confuse us all so we just give up? Or, if maybe even Meta's own employees possibly don't know and understand the vast network of privacy policies and documentation they have living all over the place? Regardless, this privacy researcher would love to see Meta do better when it comes to making their privacy policies accessible to the consumers they impact.

Tips to protect yourself

  • In your Facebook Ad Preferences, you can choose whether Facebook shows you ads on Meta Products and make choices about the information they use to show you ads.
  • Visit the app's privacy preferences at the app and opt out from personalized advertsing as well as all non-essential data collection.
  • Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data nor does close your account.
  • Do not give consent to constant geolocation tracking by the app. Better provide geolocation 'only when using the app'.
  • Do not share sensitive data through the app.
  • Do not give access to your photos and video or camera. - Do not log in using third-party accounts.
  • Do not connect to any third party via the app, or at least make sure that a third party employs decent privacy practices.
  • Do not give consent for sharing of personal data for marketing and advertisement.
  • Choose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc.
  • Do not use social media plug-ins.
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless necessary).
  • Keep your app regularly updated.
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization).
  • When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information


Device: N/A

App: Yes


Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

Sign-up via Facebook app available.

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

We ding this product for combining data it has on users with data received from third-party advertisers and marketers, even if users do not have account at its products. Facebook Dating Supplemental

Privacy Policy

"Dating uses information without special protections in the following ways:

To provide and personalize your Dating experience by showing you suggested matches and suggesting you to other Dating users, and to personalize your experience in Facebook. If you have added your accounts to the same Accounts Center, you will have the ability to turn on Facebook Dating across apps and manage connected experiences across these apps.


For measurement and analytics purposes. For example, Meta uses aggregate information about Dating alongside other Facebook information to derive internal analytics by comparing Dating with other features, such as News and Marketplace. This allows us to evaluate the efficacy of these features, product integrity and overall product performance and identify changes in how the product functions to identify bugs or ways to improve the product."

"With your consent, we will process the information with special protections listed above for the following purposes:

Provide and personalise your Dating experience by showing you suggested matches and suggesting you to other Dating users.

Improve the Dating experience. For example, identifying categories of users that may be receiving less matches and messages and ways to provide a better service for those users. Promote safety, integrity and security. For example, we may check if certain users are being targeted or harassed based on their religion or sexual orientation.

We don’t use the information with special protections listed above to show you ads."

Meta Privacy Policy

"We use information we collect to provide a personalized experience to you, including ads (if we show you ads on Meta Products), along with the other purposes we explain in detail below."

"We collect and receive information from partners, measurement vendors, marketing vendors and other third parties about a variety of your information and activities on and off our Products. Here are some examples of information we receive about you:

Your information

Websites you visit and cookie data, like through Social Plugins or the Meta Pixel

Apps you use

Games you play

Purchases and transactions you make off of our Products using non-Meta checkout experiences

The ads you see and how you interact with them

How you use our partners’ products and services, online or in person Partners also share information like your email address, cookies and advertising device ID with us. This helps us match your activities with your account, if you have one. We receive this information whether or not you’re logged in or have an account on our Products. <...>

Partners also share with us their communications with you if they instruct us to provide services to their business, like helping them manage their communications. To learn how a business processes or shares your information, read their privacy policy or contact them directly."

"We offer tools to businesses and organizations that help us give people a better Facebook experience, while also letting businesses and organizations reach the right people for their business. These tools allow a business to send information about people's interactions on their website or app to Facebook, such as when someone makes a purchase or opens an app. Businesses share information, like email addresses, cookies and advertising device IDs, that help Facebook connect those interactions with a person’s Facebook account so that we can improve their ads and help businesses measure ad effectiveness. If the activity sent by the business isn’t connected, Facebook can't tell if the person took this action because they saw a business’ Facebook ad or not. In some instances, we rely on other information, like IP address and user agent to help connect events."

"Other third parties we get information from

Some people, businesses, organizations and bodies share information with Meta but don’t necessarily use our Products. We collect and receive information from these other, including:


Marketing and advertising vendors and data providers, who have the rights to provide us with your information


"We don't sell any of your information to anyone, and we never will. We also require and other to follow rules about how they can and cannot use and disclose the information we provide."

"Meta Products share information with other Meta Companies:

To promote safety, security and integrity and comply with applicable laws

To personalize offers, ads and other sponsored or commercial content

To develop and provide features and integrations

To understand how people use and interact with Meta Company Products"

"We also receive information about you from third parties, including third-party apps, developers, other online content providers and marketing partners that provide us with information. For example, we receive information from developers about your achievements in their app and share that information with your friends on Meta Quest. We may also get information from companies or organisations that provide content such as videos, photos and audio."

"To decide what to show you and others, we use your basic information and, depending on your choices, the other information that we have about you, including:

Your profile information

Your activity on and off our Products, including information we receive through cookies and similar technologies, according to your settings

Content you create or interact with across Facebook and Instagram

Things we infer about you, like topics we think you may be interested in

Information about your friends, followers or other connections, including their activity or interests"

"We provide advertisers with reports about the number and kinds of people who see and engage with their ads. These reports include information about the general demographics and interests of people who engaged with an advertiser’s ad. Then advertisers can better understand their audience. Meta also provides advertisers and their vendors with information about:

Ads people engaged with, if any

When people engaged with ads

Where that ad was shown (for example, on Instagram, or on Facebook) We also confirm which ads you viewed that led you to take an action with an advertiser, such as downloading an advertiser's app. But we don't share information with these advertisers and their vendors that by itself can be used to contact or identify you, such as your name or email address, unless you give us permission."

"When you use our Products, you see ads, such as boosted posts or product listings in Shops. You also see ads shown through Meta Audience Network when you visit other apps. We want everything you see to be interesting and useful to you, so we personalize ads for you and measure how they perform. We use information from your account or across accounts in your Accounts Center and cookies on our Products for this. You can control whether we show you ads and which information we use to show you ads in Ad Preference."

How Meta uses information for generative AI models

"We’re investing so much in this space because we believe in the benefits that generative AI can provide for creators and businesses around the world. To train effective models to unlock these advancements, a significant amount of information is needed from publicly available and licensed sources. We keep training data for as long as we need it on a case-by-case basis to ensure an AI model is operating appropriately, safely and efficiently. We also may keep it to protect our or other’s interests, or comply with legal obligations."

How can you control your data?

We ding this product as it is unclear if all users regardless of location can get their data deleted. Facebook Dating Supplemental Privacy Policy

"You can withdraw your consent for Meta to process profile field information, like religious beliefs information, at any time by accessing your profile settings and changing that field to “Prefer not to Say.” As for the gender(s) of the people you are interested in, as explained above, this information is necessary for the provision of Dating. If you do not wish for Meta to process this information, you should not create a Dating profile or should delete your existing Dating profile, as applicable. Note that you will not be able to use Dating if you do this."

Meta Privacy Policy

"You have the right to request that we erase your information, if there are valid grounds for doing so and subject to applicable law."

"We keep information as long as we need it to provide our Products, comply with legal obligations or protect our or other’s interests. We decide how long we need information on a case-by-case basis. Here’s what we consider when we decide:

If we need it to operate or provide our Products. For example, we need to keep some of your information to maintain your account.

The feature we use it for, and how that feature works. For example, messages sent using Messenger’s vanish mode are retained for less time than regular messages.

How long we need to retain the information to comply with certain legal obligations.

If we need it for other legitimate purposes, such as to prevent harm; investigate possible violations of our terms or policies; promote safety, security and integrity; or protect ourselves, including our rights, property or products. In some instances and for specific reasons, we’ll keep information for an extended period of time."

"If you request that we delete your account or content, it may take up to 90 days to delete your information after we begin the account deletion process or receive a content deletion request. After the information is deleted, it may take us up to another 90 days to remove it from backups and disaster recovery. If you leave your deleted content in your trash on Facebook or your Recently Deleted folder on Instagram, the deletion process will begin automatically in 30 days. Or you can start the deletion process right away by deleting the content from your trash or Recently Deleted folder."

"Withdraw consent Where we rely on your consent to process your information, you can withdraw your consent at any time. If you choose to withdraw your consent this will not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal. To exercise your rights, visit our Help Centers, your settings for Facebook and Instagram and your device-based settings."

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?


Turkey's competition authority said in January, 2024 it had decided to fine Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc 4.8 million lira ($160,000) a day for failing to provide sufficient documentation as part of a previous investigation.

In October of 2023, Meta was sued by 33 US states for, among other things, entic[ing], engag[ing], and ultimately ensnar[ing] youth and teens [...] to maximize its financial gains..."

In May of 2023, Meta was fined a record 1.2B euros for violating GDPR by sending data about European residents to the US without consent.

In September 2023, a Norwegian court ruled to uphold the country's data regulator's fine of $93,200/day for a period of three months for harvesting users' data for targeted advertising. In January 2023, Meta was fined 390m euros privacy violations involving the company's ad targeting practices.

In September 2022, Meta was fined for $405M for treatment of childrens' data on Instagram. In October 2022, Meta Pixel was a cause of a data breach of sensitive healthcare data that hit 3 million patients at Advocate Aurora Health (AAH), a 26-hospital healthcare system in Wisconsin and Illinois.

In October 2022, Meta notified around 1 million users of potential compromise through malicious apps.

In August 2022, private and personal information of over 1.5 billion Facebook users were allegedly being sold on a popular hacking-related forum.

In March 2022, Meta received a $18.6M fine from the Data Protection Commision. The DPC found that Meta Platforms failed to have in place appropriate technical and organisational measures which would enable it to readily demonstrate the security measures that it implemented in practice to protect EU users’ data, in the context of the twelve personal data breaches. The decision followed an inquiry by the DPC into a series of twelve data breach notifications it received in the six month period between 7 June 2018 and 4 December 2018.

In October 2021, Meta's Whatsapp was was fined nearly $270 million by Irish authorities for not being transparent about how it uses data collected from people on the service.

In April 2021, it was reported that there was a personal data leak of about 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries, including over 32 million records on users in the US, 11 million on users in the UK, and 6 million on users in India. It includes their phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses.

In August 2019, Bloomberg reported that Facebook hired contractors to transcribe audio messages users sent through Messenger and Facebook confirmed the report.

Child Privacy Information

"Eligibility Requirements We try to make our products broadly available, but you may only use Facebook Dating if you are at least 18 years old and are legally permitted to use Facebook Dating under the laws of your resident country."

Can this product be used offline?


User-friendly privacy information?


Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information




Strong password


Security updates


Manages vulnerabilities


Privacy policy


Does the product use AI? information


Meta AI uses generative AI to draft an introduction in Facebook Dating.

Facebook Dating algorithm also generates prospective matches.

Facebook uses a third party service, called Yoti, to estimate users' age for age verification purposes.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Choosing potential matches for users.

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?


Where do my suggested matches come from on Facebook Dating? "Facebook Dating suggests matches for you based on your preferences and information from your Dating profile. Your Dating preferences for potential matches can include height, age and education. We also use the things you and others do and provide on Facebook, for example: Information you added to your Facebook or Dating profile, like your hometown or the schools you attended. Interests like Facebook Groups and Events that you have in common. This can include past and future events that you expressed interest in or attended. You can also look for suggested matches in events and groups Note that we may use other signals from Facebook to help provide you more relevant matches."

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine

*Privacy Not Included

Dive Deeper

  • Facebook Dating: Things you should know before using it
    Slash Gear Link opens in a new tab
  • ‘I blame myself’: Woman loses $5k after encountering scammer on Facebook dating service
    The Straits Times Link opens in a new tab
  • Florida man charged with kidnapping, assaulting woman he met on 'Facebook Dating'
    Katu Link opens in a new tab
  • Turkish competition board to fine Meta $160,000 per day for non-compliance
    Reuters Link opens in a new tab
  • Facebook Doesn’t Know What It Does With Your Data, Or Where It Goes: Leaked Document
    Motherboard: Tech by Vice Link opens in a new tab
  • Meta warns 1 million Facebook users their login info may have been compromised
    The Washington Post Link opens in a new tab
  • Meta Faces Another Lawsuit Over Health Data Privacy Practices
    HealthITSecurity Link opens in a new tab
  • VR Tracking Facial Expressions May Be the Next Privacy Nightmare—Here's Why
    Lifewire Link opens in a new tab
  • Facebook's dating app rollout in Europe is delayed after regulators raise questions about data privacy
    Business Insider Link opens in a new tab


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