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People don't trust dating apps, but they still swipe right

Data: SurveyMonkey poll, Jan. 17 to 21. Poll methodology; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

People are largely uncomfortable giving their personal data to dating apps and websites, but they use them anyway, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

Why it matters: Nearly a quarter of those surveyed use services like OkCupid, Tinder or Match.com, according to the poll, and that share grows to roughly a third for younger people.

The bigger picture: While these apps have drastically changed the dating scene, they are not immune to the same security and privacy risks of other online services. A security firm recently reported, for example, that a failure to encrypt key data meant someone could spy on a person’s activity on Tinder.

Even people who use or have used the services express discomfort with how their personal data is handled.

  • 51% say that they are not "too confident" or "not confident at all" that the services are doing everything they can to protect their personal information.
    • Only 12% say they are extremely or very confident.
  • 50% of users say they are not too comfortable or not comfortable at all providing their personal information to the services.
  • Younger people are more comfortable than their older counterparts with providing their personal information to online dating services.
    • 30% of 18-24 year olds say they are somewhat comfortable providing their personal data to the services, compared to just 16% of 45-54 year olds.

Age also factors into how they view dating services compared to other online services they use.

  • Just 20% of 18-24 year olds who’ve used dating apps say they are more concerned about their personal data being shared by those services, including with advertisers, than they are with other applications.
  • It’s much higher for older generations: 48% of 55-64 year olds and 47% of people 65 or older who’ve used the apps said they’re more concerned than with other products.

SurveyMonkey conducted the poll for Axios online between January 17-21, 2018. It had a sample size of 4,329 adults nationwide. The survey has a modeled error estimate of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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