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(Couples whose mutual friends were closely connected to each other, the researchers said, were more likely to call it quits.) But the new dating service could give Facebook an entirely new level of visibility into its users’ love lives, and privacy experts said they’re concerned users won’t understand how much information they’ll be handing over.
Facebook will log interactions on the dating site, keep a record of everyone a user likes or rejects and gather other data necessary for the service to work, officials said.
“Am I going to get matches based on liking ‘The Sponge Bob Square Pants Movie’ when I was 14?
” said one 22-year-old law student in California currently using other online-dating apps.
Matches will be shown the other person’s first name, age, current city and photo, though users will also have the option of sharing their work, education and other biographical information. Privacy watchdogs, advertising experts and industry rivals worry the service could expose users more acutely to the worst of the Web — scams, malicious strangers and other problems Facebook already has its hands full with. ” The apps and sites of the billion online-dating industry — which will now need to contend with Facebook as a rival — gather personality and courtship data on their users for matching and marketing purposes.
“Facebook already knows a lot about you that you tell it, and it collects a lot of information about you beyond that. Now here’s this whole other bucket of really sensitive stuff,” said Justin Brookman, director of privacy and technology policy at the advocacy group Consumers Union. But because Facebook's audience is bigger and more widespread, its ad-targeting platform is more sophisticated and its users' profiles are built on years of detailed information, experts worry the new dating service could present a huge target and amplify the potential for abuse.
After inviting developers for years to build novel products like dating apps or music services on top of its social platform, Facebook switched gears and restricted developers’ access to friends’ data in 20, a move that made it harder for many dating apps to acquire new customers.
Some of the dating apps now allege that Facebook is copying their apps, encompassing their features into its main market-dominating powerhouse.
In 2013, Facebook and Cornell University researchers pulled data on 1.3 million users to try to predict whether couples would break up within 60 days of Facebook announcing their relationship.
Critics are also questioning Facebook’s priorities in launching a side service while its challenges with privacy and fake news abound.