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Where dating meets data: Investigating social and institutional privacy concerns on Tinder

The widespread diffusion of location-based real-time dating or mobile dating apps, such as Tinder and Grindr, is changing dating practices. The affordances of these dating apps differ from those of “old school” dating sites, for example, by privileging picture-based selection, minimizing room for textual self-description, and drawing upon existing Facebook profile data. They might also affect users’ privacy perceptions as these services are location based and often include personal conversations and data. Based on a survey collected via Mechanical Turk, we assess how Tinder users perceive privacy concerns. We find that the users are more concerned about institutional privacy than social privacy. Moreover, different motivations for using Tinder—hooking up, relationship, friendship, travel, self-validation, and entertainment—affect social privacy concerns more strongly than institutional concerns. Finally, loneliness significantly increases users’ social and institutional privacy concerns, while narcissism decreases them.

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