If you want to be a functioning member of modern society, you’re practically required to share your personal information with companies who may or may not be able to keep it private and who will inevitably figure out a way to use the most intimate details of your life to their advantage. In most cases, if you’re not paying for a service, you’re the product, and nothing proves this more than a recent article from The Guardian exposing just how much Tinder knows about its users.
A European Union statute states that companies who operate in member countries are legally required to release the data they have on customers when requested. With the help of a few legal experts, Judith Duportail emailed Tinder to request the dossier they have on her, and the company replied by sending her hundreds of pages of information about herself:
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.
If you’re wondering if Tinder also has a record of your chats, well, I have some bad news:
Reading through the 1,700 Tinder messages I’ve sent since 2013, I took a trip into my hopes, fears, sexual preferences and deepest secrets. Tinder knows me so well. It knows the real, inglorious version of me who copy-pasted the same joke to match 567, 568, and 569; who exchanged compulsively with 16 different people simultaneously one New Year’s Day, and then ghosted 16 of them.
The news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who understands the business models of most companies in Silicon Valley, but it should serve as a bit of a reality check. On the bright side, they’re not monitoring every conversation you have like Facebook. That’s got to count for something, right?*