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GPS Dating Apps Raise Prospects, Security Concerns

GPS Dating

Many single people are turning to GPS-based dating services. (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s not easy to find a soul mate — but what if you could enlist the help of GPS tracking, like you have in your car?

As CBS 2’s Maurice DuBois reported, the use of GPS technology the latest trend in match-making. But it’s raising questions about safety.

Rob Bent says dating can sometimes feel like a revolving door. He goes around in circles, but never really gets anywhere.

“It’s always a work in progress,” Bent said.

But now, Bent, 30, has a new tool to help with his quest for true love in GPS.

“It definitely helps in planning and meeting up and making it easier,” Bent said.

GPS dating may sound extreme–but it’s a growing trend that has many singles saying goodbye to traditional online dating.

They are attracted to it because it happens more quickly, and it eliminates days of back and forth emailing and planning.

“I was just on line waiting for my coffee and I was just like let me see whose available,” said Tiffany Youdim. “It just happened to be that that person was in the back of the coffee shop, so we were able to right then and there spend a few minutes and chit chat.”

Youdim, 32, said the immediacy of GPS dating keeps people more honest.

“You can hide with the online stuff,” Youdim said. “This way, you’re out and about in the world and you can connect.”

There are several GPS services to choose from. Each works a little differently, but all are apps for your phone.

They all have the same end result–to tell you who’s single and on the lookout around you.

“Instead of hiding behind a computer screen,” said Chris Klotz, chief executive officer of Singles Around Me, one of the GPS dating services. “We’re trying to bring real life back into dating.”

“You meet in the real world, where it wasn’t about endless online chatter and e-mail after e-mail,” added Aaron Schildkrout, founder of the app How About We.

But security experts are concerned this all happens too fast.

“One of the biggest problems with GPS dating is the immediacy of it,” said security specialist Alan Rosenthal. “You have no time to vet them or even to think about what your actions, your interactions or the ramifications are going to be.”

Rosenthal said it is scary to think somebody you don’t know can know exactly where you are.

But GPS dating supporters say that’s true of anyone, at any time.

“If somebody knows your name, they can look in the phone book and find your address,” Klotz said.

Klotz said you only have to reveal what you want.

“People can always switch off their location,” he said.

Each GPS service offers privacy options and others, such as How About We, won’t reveal your exact location.

“So you might suggest a date in Brooklyn, New York, and we would reveal that,” Klotz said. “We would never reveal your exact location down to the block.”

“There’s something fun about it,” Youdim said.

Both Bent and Youdim say they the potential rewards outweigh any risks.

“Don’t be afraid,” Bent said. “It’s a really good way to find people.”

Have you ever used a GPS dating app, or would you? Leave your comments below…