Match.com

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Match.com

Review date: March 15, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Super creepy

Launched in 1995, Match.com is one of the oldest dating sites still going and has over 20 million users in 24 countries. Match is a pretty standard dating app. You build a profile, search for matches, all the typical dating app stuff. They do offer one pretty unique feature -- your own personal "wingwoman" called Lara. Lara is an "artificial intelligence dating coach" chatbot there to (hopefully) help you find the one. She will send you a match, tell you where you should go on a date, what you should wear on that date, and even give you her ideas for how to start the conversation. Yeah, an AI chatbot exists to tell you how to start a conversation on your first date. What could go wrong? Match is also part of the Match Group, which owns a whole portfolio of dating sites including Tinder, OKCupid, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and more. You have the option to send your profile to one of Match's sister sites to increase your chances at finding love. Match is free to sign up and use, but if you want to message people who catch your eye that requires paying for the premium features.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

The Match Group, which owns Match and about 45 other dating sites like Tinder, OK Cupid, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish, owns about 25% of the dating app market share. When you sign up with one of these dating sites, the Match Group privacy policy states they may share your personal information with any of the other Match Groups sites for what they say are non-commercial limited and critical purposes. Match was sued by the FTC in the United States for allegedly using misleading ads and deceptive email marketing tactics to get hundreds of thousands of Match users to pay for their services. While not directly privacy related, this does raise some red flags for users. Match collects a huge amount of data--everything from what you say in your chats to religion, ethnicity, even what you eat, and how many pets you have. And then there is Lara, the AI chatbot dating coach designed to help you find love and tell you what to wear on dates. Lara isn't the only AI Match uses to play online matchmaker. Match started using an algorithm back in 2010 to rate users based on their preferences. Without a lot of transparency into the algorithm, one concern when apps collect this information is it's hard to know how you might be matched and whether the apps have any potential bias. Finally, when you connect a social media account like Facebook to Match, both Facebook and the Match now potentially collect more information together. That's why we recommend users don't link your dating app to Facebook.

mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Match.com definitely shares user data with around 45 other Match Group companies, such as Tinder, OK Cupid, and Plenty of Fish among others. The company also shares data with third parties for purposes such as advertising and analytics.

How can you control your data?

Users can request a copy of their personal information, as well as their data to be deleted. Users based in California can request a notice disclosing the categories of personal information that Match.com has shared with third parties for their direct marketing purposes during the preceding calendar year. Both can be requested by emailing [email protected]

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

Needs Improvement

The FTC alleged in September 2019 that Match.com used deceptive email marketing tactics to try and subscribe users to its service. In addition, Norwegian regulators started investigating Match Group properties, alleging the company shared personal user data with advertising companies in a way that may violate privacy laws.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Pretty technical even though they claim to make it accessible.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Yes

A strong password is required with 8 characters, 1 upper, 1 lower and 1 number.

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Match.com has a bug bounty program https://hackerone.com/match?type=team

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

Match.com introduced algorithms in 2010 to rate its users and learning from users' preference to make recommendations. Spin forward a decade, Match.com recently released an AI Dating Chatbox aka a dating coach, called 'Lara', in collaboration with Google. Lara provides daily user matches, ideas for date locations, and dating advice on the basis of up to 50 personal factors (such as from conversation starters, to advice on what to wear, and tips on how to overcome nerves). Without a lot of transparency into the algorithm, one concern when apps collect this information is it's hard to know how you might be matched and whether the apps have any potential bias.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

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

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

No

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine

*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • Match may have misled users with messages from fake dating accounts
    Vox
  • Can we trust the Match Group cartel with our dating data?
    ProPrivacy
  • FTC Sues Owner of Online Dating Service Match.com for Using Fake Love Interest Ads To Trick Consumers into Paying for a Match.com Subscription
    Federal Trade Commission
  • Match launches UK’s first AI Dating Chatbot, Lara, on the Google Assistant
    Match
  • Your favorite dating site isn’t as private as you think
    Vox
  • Match, Tinder Swipe Right For Privacy Red Flags, Say Experts
    Threat Post
  • Match.com learns that encryption alone isn't enough
    Computer World
  • Your favorite dating site isn’t as private as you think
    Vox

Comments

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