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Tinder has a privacy problem, researchers say

A privacy research group calls Match Group a data "cartel".

ProPrivacy researchers have discovered that yet more companies are using personal data collection and sharing as their business model.

This time, the discovery concerns dating platforms and Tinder.

The data in question range from chat logs to users’ financial information – leaving them at the same time blissfully unaware of what’s going on.

Well, perhaps not “blissfully,” as an overwhelming majority (70 percent) of users said they were worried about just how much data they give to the app, and what the app might end up doing with it.

But in the same survey, 55 percent said they never read the company’s privacy policy.

Meanwhile, the platform, owned by Match Group – that also owns OkCupid and Tinder, among others, has millions of paid users. Due to the nature of the service, they are prone to share more data that they might elsewhere – and sometimes it’s “highly personal and emotional data.”

ProPrivacy analysts as warning about the need to raise awareness of the ways and the degree to which the privacy of these subscribers can be undermined by the platforms’ behavior.

A particular concern is data breaches, that can lead to everything from embarrassment to blackmail.

According to privacy policy, the company collects information about subscribers’ activity on the services, “e.g., date and time you logged in, features you’ve been using, searches, clicks and pages which have been shown to you, referring webpage address, advertising that you click on, and how you interact with other users (e.g., users, you connect and interact with, time and date of your exchanges, number of messages you send and receive).”

Tinder also said they “process” chat data that occurs on their platform, and the content published there. But that’s not clear enough wording for privacy activists from ProPrivacy, including the meaning of the term “processing” as used here.

And now we come to the point: what good are troves of personal data if they can’t be put to use. states that it “shares” personal information and information on demographics of its users with third parties who then “assist” the company in everything from data hosting, customer care, advertising, to payment processing.

Tinder adds, once again using rather vague language, financial information into the type of data it collects and shares with third parties who then perform “certain services” for it.

ProPrivacy faults the Match Group for less transparency compared to similar operations, and warns that the more data is collected and shared, the more likely it is to be breached.

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