Legal

Match.com Responds To FTC Lawsuit And Fraud Allegations

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Match.com released an official statement regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s allegations that the dating service exposed consumers to the risk of fraud and engaged in other deceptive and unfair business practices.

In a lawsuit filed in the Northern District of Texas, the FTC alleges that Match used fake notifications to trick users into upgrading to premium subscriptions and that the company deceived consumers by failing to provide clear disclosures and cancellation practices. Match has denied the allegations, claiming that the issues pointed out by the FTC have “either been taken grossly out of context or permanently eliminated by Match.”

How Much User Data is Facebook Dating Collecting?

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Facebook Dating User Data Privacy

Facebook Dating just launched, but privacy advocates are warning despite all the opt-in features, Facebook could be collecting more data than you realize.

Facebook Dating is reassuring potential customers by allowing them to make decisions about how visible they want to be on the app – including providing features to block certain users from appearing in your matches (like an ex) and hiding your dating profile from friends and work colleagues. Even some of the more questionable features – like “secret crush” – where you can identify someone you secretly like over the app, and if they do the same you two are matched, are only activated when users choose them.

Tinder’s Latest Legal Entanglements: Trademark Infringement and Alleged Illegal Payoffs

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Near the end of September, Tinder had a litigious week. News of two legal matters - one new, one ongoing - that involve the dating platform and its parent company recently came to light.

Tinder has issued two complaints alleging trademark infringement to the startup dating app Wild. The complaints concern Wild’s original logo, which featured a mirror image of Tinder’s flame design in place of the dot over the ‘i’. Match Group, owner of the Tinder brand, sent an email to Wild demanding that the logo be changed:

"Your application uses, without authorization, the 'Flame Outline' design/logo, a trademark owned and controlled by Tinder, Inc… As we seek an amicable and swift resolution to this matter, we ask that your app immediately cease using any Tinder trademarks of any other name or mark which is likely to lead consumers to mistakenly believe its products or services are associated with Tinder or authorized by Tinder. If satisfactory modification is not made to address these violations, we ask that your application be removed from the platform."

FTC Sues Match Group For Fraud

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The Federal Trade Commission announced it is suing Match Group for using fake notifications to trick users into paying for subscriptions to Match.com. The FTC also alleges that Match Group unfairly exposed consumers to the risk of fraud and engaged in other allegedly deceptive and unfair practices to induce users to subscribe and keep them subscribed to the dating service.

Match.com allows users to create a profile and use some of the platform’s features for free. However, users are prohibited from responding to messages from admirers unless they upgrade to a higher membership tier with a subscription fee. According to the FTC’s complaint, Match sent misleading advertisements to users with free accounts stating that someone had expressed interest in them and encouraging them to subscribe to the service to view the message and the identity of its sender. Many users purchased subscriptions as a result of these deceptive ads, believing they were going to communicate with a real user who could be “the one.”

Russia Launching New Dating App Lovina on its Most Popular Social Platform

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Russia’s largest social media platform VKontakte is going head-to-head with Tinder and Badoo by launching its own dating app.

According to The Moscow Times, VKontakte’s Lovina is a video-centric dating app, offering a video chat option to people who like each other over the app and a “carousel” of short videos for a quick communication between random users who are browsing through the app. Executives behind Lovina say that providing video as the main way for users to connect is a better method than what traditional dating apps like Tinder offer, because video is much more revealing than photos or a written profile. Plus, there’s less chance of someone faking a video compared to photos.

Facebook Dating Launches in US as Privacy Concerns Loom

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Facebook Dating now available in the United States
Image: Facebook

Facebook Dating made its much-anticipated debut in the US on September 5th, but concerns about its privacy issues have overshadowed the excitement in media coverage of the app.

Facebook was recently ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to pay about $5 billion in fines for privacy lapses, including its maligned partnership with Cambridge Analytica leading up to the 2016 elections. And most recently, the Attorneys General of eight different states have launched an anti-trust investigation of the company, specifically concerning the company’s privacy practices and purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram.

Still, Facebook Dating is betting on its wealth of personal user data as a competitive advantage for creating better matches to directly compete with apps like Tinder. (Match Group saw its shares fall 5 percent on the day Facebook Dating was launched, a sign of investor concerns about the new competition.)