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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The developers trying to engineer your love life are as likely to fall victim to privacy missteps as platforms like Facebook or Google.

Why it matters: Dating apps and sites are party to some of our most intimate communications.

Details: Dating apps and sites collect a significant amount of consumer data — and where there is data, there are privacy breaches.

  • An Axios investigation a year ago found that trackers were common on many online dating websites, including from third-party companies.
  • In April, Grindr said it would stop sharing users’ HIV statuses with third-party vendors.
  • Tinder was one of the many outside applications implicated in a data leak that exposed Facebook accounts, since some people who use the dating app use the social giant’s login tool. The dating app said it had found no evidence its accounts were accessed.
  • The gay dating app Jack'd recently experienced a privacy breach that exposed users' photos that were supposedly private.

What they’re saying: Privacy issues in online dating can go beyond accidental breaches or disclosure. The information users provide these platforms can also be used to harass them or as "revenge porn," where intimate images of someone are shared without their consent.

  • “We disclose a significant amount of personal information on these platforms because we have to,” said New York Law School professor Ari Ezra Waldman. “But at the same time, the law does not protect our disclosure when someone wishes us harm.”
  • Privacy concerns can be particularly acute for members of marginalized groups that are more likely to use dating apps or face discrimination and harassment on the platforms.

Why you’ll hear about this again: Facebook is getting into the dating app space and bringing all of its consumer data privacy baggage along with it.

Kaveh Waddell contributed reporting.

Go deeper: Our special report on the future of dating

Go deeper

39 mins ago - Health

First known U.S. case of the Omicron variant identified in California

PhotoL Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.

Supreme Court appears likely to roll back abortion rights

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed likely to weaken abortion rights and perhaps to let states ban the procedure altogether.

The intrigue: The court seemed likely to throw out the framework established in Roe v. Wade, but it wasn't clear whether a majority of the justices were inclined to overturn the court's precedents entirely.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 2 hours ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.

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