Attention Tinder Users: Avoid These Privacy Pitfalls! What Happens When You Click ‘Accept All’ and Send Private Messages?

Dating apps have brought the world of dating to all audiences. Applications like Tinder have changed the “Hello, what’s your name?”, from the disco, to “Hello, what are you doing?”, from the sofa at home. Matching with someone —and with your pajamas on— has never been so easy.  

From the first moment we use the Tinder app, we are providing certain personal data such as the moment we logged in, functions we use, information that has been shown to us, address of the reference web pages or advertisements in which we have clicked, etc.); also, how we interact with other users, for example, with which users we connect, and when we have matched or exchanged messages with them).

What information does Tinder have about users?

When we click ‘accept all’ without reading the policy — that long one with the fine print that is so lazy to read — we are also giving Tinder access to information about the device (including hardware and software information, such as the address IP, device ID, and type, settings, etc.). Also, the information collected by cookies, exact geolocation data of the device, even when we are not using the services (if we give our consent) and facial geometry data (when the photo verification option is used), admit from the website of Tinder’s policies.

In addition to giving access to our data in the app itself, that false sense of security that talking with strangers from the warmth of home provides, makes us provide personal information to third parties that we would not do under normal circumstances. 

The people we talk to no longer ask our names because they put them in the profile, but that is not the only information we provide to a complete stranger. The biography puts our tastes and also, links to other networks such as Instagram, also our photos, our friends, and even the location of the stories, if we have posted them. It seems like something harmless, but it is not, that they tell the victims of Joe Goldberg (played by Penn Badgley) in the series You.

From Tinder, they warn: “You are solely responsible for your interactions with other users. You understand that Tinder does not check the criminal records of users or investigate their past. Tinder makes no representations or offers guarantees regarding the behavior or compatibility of the users. users”. 

Although Tinder uses the double consent tool – which only allows users to communicate with each other after they have both expressed mutual interest – and the official profile option, to maintain a certain ‘security’, the dating app is not made responsible for the images sent, nor for the information provided by the user in their private conversations.

“Meeting new people is exciting,” they say from Tinder, “but you should always be careful when interacting with someone you don’t know. Use common sense and put your safety first, whether you’re sending initial messages or getting to know each other in person”. 

What you should not do on the Tinder dating app

The dating app insists: “Since you can’t control the actions of others, there are certain things you can do to stay safe while on Tinder.” Things to avoid when using the Tinder app:

  • Never send money or share financial information – Tinder scammers use this medium to scam their victims. Sending money by transfer is just like sending cash: it is almost impossible to reverse it. Never share information—even if the person claims to be in an emergency—that could be used to access your financial accounts. If another user asks you for money, notify them immediately. 
  • Protect your personal information: Never share personal information, such as your social security number, home or work address, or details about your daily habits (for example, that you go to a certain gym every Monday) with people you don’t you know. If you are a parent, limit the information you share about your children.
  • Be suspicious of long-distance relationships and stay on the platform: Keep the conversations on the Tinder platform, at least initially. Malicious users often try to pass the conversation to messages with other applications. Also, be suspicious of anyone who doesn’t want to meet you in person or make a phone or video call; they may not be who they say they are.
  • Report all suspicious or offensive behavior: block and report anyone who violates the terms of use: fraudulent profiles, requests for money or donations, minors, and/or harassment of any kind.
  • Do not be in a hurry to meet the person and do not hesitate to ask questions to detect red flags or issues that are irreconcilable for you: “A phone or video call can be a suitable tool to filter people before meeting in person”, they warn from the web.
  • Meet in public and continue in a public place: If the other person pressures you to go to a private place, end the date there.
  • Discuss your plans with family and friends: take your mobile and make sure it is well charged.
  • Do not leave your drinks or personal belongings unattended: you must know with certainty where your drink comes from and where it is at all times; accept drinks only if served directly by the waiter.
  • If you feel uncomfortable, leave: even if nothing fraudulent happens. It’s okay to end a date early if you feel uncomfortable.

How long does Tinder keep data?

From the web, they maintain that personal information is kept for as long as they need it for their legitimate commercial purposes and as long as current laws allow it. They insist that by closing your account, the profile will no longer be visible to other users. If the account is inactive for a period of two years, it is automatically closed. 

“After closing your account, we will delete your personal information, —and they add from the Tinder website— we keep limited data to comply with legal data retention obligations: in particular, we keep transaction data for 10 years to comply with tax and accounting legal requirements, credit card information for as long as the user can withdraw the transaction, and ‘traffic data’ and records for one year to comply with legal data retention obligations.” 

“Also – they insist – we keep records of the consents that users give us for five years to demonstrate our compliance with applicable law.”

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