Yet the specter raised by Adult Friend Finder's apparent hack is a different kind of threat than a company trying to use data to figure out how best to match people or leaking the info to other companies: It risks wholesale exposure of information in an era when it is basically impossible to put the data genie back in the bottle.
What users should really take away from the incident is that the privacy of the information they share with these sites is only as good as their security practices.
The agency received nearly 6,000 complaints about those kind of schemes last year from people who reported being swindled out of a total of over million.
One recent academic study of a Chinese dating site found scammers resorting to some pretty creative methods.
And while Adult Friend Finder is on one extreme of the burgeoning digital romance market, the whole sector is based on information about users' most intimate desires.
Mainstream site OKCupid, for instance, asks users to fill out quizzes that cover everything from their sexual proclivities to drug habits.
And, unfortunately, there's evidence that Adult Friend Finder isn't the only site that has issues in that department.
People are now not only turning to their devices to work, shop, and play, but to manage their personal lives and relationships too. But with concerns rife following incidents such as the infamous Ashley Madison breach, and with the process inherently requiring users to share personal information, it’s important to consider the potential dangers involved.
"That means a compromise of those services won't just give information about things you deliberately shared with the dating site, but could expose otherwise private information associated with your primary social media accounts." Online daters also face another risk: being scammed by other users.
An FBI report released earlier this year showed that "confidence fraud and romance" scams are a major vector for online fraud.
Instead of having users pull out a complete profile, they ask them to connect with their Facebook or Linked In pages -- pulling pictures or text to prepopulate their account.
But that could mean even bigger problems if a breach occurs, Mayer said.