Contributed by: kellyseal Monday, May 21 2018 @ 10:26 am
Did you eat at a new neighborhood cafe for lunch? Do you want to share this over Tinder? There’s a new feature the dating app is testing called “Places,” which lets potential matches know where you’ve been.
Website The Verge broke the story with screenshots of the new feature, showing how GPS tracking can now be used as a way to connect with your dates. The idea behind Places is similar to dating app Happn, where users can see if they had any missed connections during the day, depending on where they’d been. Let’s say you stopped for morning coffee at your local shop and one of your potential matches also happened to be there. Places will alert you so that you can message your match to let her know you were there too, and start a conversation.
A concerning issue with the new feature is that Tinder is in charge of documenting and revealing your locations to other users. Instead of allowing users to “check in” when they want to share their location, Tinder automatically chooses to reveal or hide the location. For example, you might go to your dentist appointment and then stop for coffee on the way back to work. Tinder won’t report that you’ve been to the dentist, but it might choose to reveal the coffee shop you visited.
Many have criticized the new feature, saying it gives users the ability to stalk potential matches.
According to Tech Crunch[*1] , before users get paranoid that they will potentially be stalked, Tinder is only testing the new feature right now, so things may change before it officially launches. Plus, it seems that users can opt-in or turn the feature off if they don’t want others to know where they’ve been.
Another concerning issue brought up by Tech Crunch is that your location information is saved by Tinder. It will be visible to other users for up to 28 days before it disappears according to reports, but Tinder can hold onto this information indefinitely. While the information allows Tinder to find out more about its users, to make the online dating experience better, it could also mean Tinder has access to more information than most users would feel comfortable sharing.
While these features are intended to enhance and attract more users, we should all be cautious about privacy concerns. Social media requires us to provide a lot of personal information, and this information can be used by those platforms for the benefit of advertisers, not users. It’s important to know what you are giving away before you agree to user terms, for all social media platforms, including Tinder and other dating apps.
Plus, when it comes to online dating, and dating in general, we should all put our own safety first. For more on this dating service you can read our review of the Tinder app.