Pitfalls of online dating include having personal information reach advertisers and data aggregators, risk of electronic security breaches such as identity theft, exposure to criminals and potential damage to reputation. Online dating offers a convenient way for connecting people, but comes with several disadvantages. Upon signing up with dating service websites, consumers relinquish permanent data, exposing them to risks such as having personal information sold to third parties, and for fee-based dating sites, having confidential financial information hacked.
Most online dating services require input of personal data. Data includes personal information such as name, address and other identifying information. Once entered into service systems, this data remains on record, even after users cancel accounts. If people pursue lawsuits against websites following data breaches, websites surrender personal information to requesting parties. This might lead to consequences surrounding employment, relationships and other personal issues.
After signing up for services, some online website companies sell users' information to third parties. This might involve suggesting romance-related services, such as wedding planners and vacations.
Some dating services mislead consumers on the basis of anonymity. They assure consumers that personal information remains anonymous on their sites, which rarely happens. Supposedly confidential information often appears in public records.
Lastly, many online dating services solicit accounts by broadcasting high rates of successful partnerships. However, they rarely have scientific proof for substantiating claims, ultimately misleading consumers.