A little-known Yelp privacy setting tells businesses your gender, age and hometown

You May Want To Rethink Your Yelp


I use Yelp fairly frequently for finding restaurants, but I rarely log in. Recently, though, I logged in to leave a review and got notified about a “privacy settings update.” For more than a year, Yelp has had “activity feeds” for businesses that give them more information about their customers. These feeds make it so that every time I get directions to a business, call them, or click on their Yelp page, the businesses get a notification that “a woman in her 30s from San Francisco” is the one doing it.

The default setting was to display my demographic data — gender, age, and hometown.

[img attachment=”141552″ align=”aligncenter” size=”full” alt=”business visibility settings” /]

But users can tweak the setting to display more or less. This is what it can look like to a business:

[img attachment=”141558″ align=”aligncenter” size=”full” alt=”yelp bizfeed” /]

What this means, in practice, is that businesses have a…

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