After a journalist asked Tinder to send her all the personal data that the company had stored on her, she received 800 pages of information, according to a report.
Under European Union Data Protection laws, Tinder was legally obliged to send French journalist Judith Duportail everything related to her account and revealed how much information she unknowingly let them keep.
“Some 800 pages came back containing information such as my Facebook ‘likes’, my photos from Instagram (even after I deleted the associated account), my education, the age-rank of men I was interested in, how many times I connected, when and where every online conversation with every single one of my matches happened… the list goes on,” claimed Duportail in an article for the Guardian. “As I flicked through page after page of my data I felt guilty. I was amazed by how much information I was voluntarily disclosing: from locations, interests and jobs, to pictures, music tastes and what I liked to eat. But I quickly realised I wasn’t the only one. A July 2017 study revealed Tinder users are excessively willing to disclose information without realising it.”
In a response to the report, University of Washington Data Scientist Olivier Keyes declared, “I am horrified but absolutely not surprised by this amount of data.”
“Every app you use regularly on your phone owns the same [kinds of information]. Facebook has thousands of pages about you!” she continued.
Carnegie Mellon University Professor Alessandro Acquisti gave a similar response to the Guardian.
“What you are describing is called secondary implicit disclosed information… Tinder knows much more about you when studying your behaviour on the app,” Acquisti explained. “It knows how often you connect and at which times; the percentage of white men, black men, Asian men you have matched; which kinds of people are interested in you; which words you use the most; how much time people spend on your picture before swiping you, and so on. Personal data is the fuel of the economy. Consumers’ data is being traded and transacted for the purpose of advertising.”
Despite the fact that every citizen in the EU is legally entitled to request their personal data from companies, “very few” have made similar requests to Tinder, according to Duportail.
In May, Tinder revealed they were investigating the theft of 40,000 user profile pictures after a programmer made them public, while this month, it was reported that the dating platform had become the highest grossing app on Apple’s App Store.