Journalist discovers the true cost of ‘free’ dating app Tinder is quite alarming

by | Sep 27, 2017

This article originally appeared at Anti-Media. 


In a piece that speaks directly to life in the modern age, French journalist Judith Duportail just detailed for The Guardian what happened after she requested from dating app Tinder that she be sent all her personal data.

With the help of a privacy activist and a human rights attorney, Tinder granted her request. But she says the sheer volume of information she received was “way more than [she] bargained for.” From her article, published Tuesday:

“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.

The journalist recounts that as she looked through the data, she was “amazed by how much information [she] was voluntarily disclosing: from locations, interests and jobs, to pictures, music tastes and what [she] liked to eat.

As to why the dating app would want to store so much of users’ personal data, Duportail notes that Tinder makes no effort to hide the fact that all account information — even private chats — is fair game when it comes to what to sell to advertisers.

“Personal data is the fuel of the economy,” Allesandro Acquesti, professor of information technology at Carnegie Mellon University, told Duportail. “Consumers’ data is being traded and transacted for the purpose of advertising.”

Paul-Olivier Dehaye, the activist who helped Duportail in her encounter with Tinder, says the journalist’s findings reflect a society shifting into one where an individual’s personal information — the advertising industry aside — can increasingly be used to affect his or her future:

“We are leaning towards a more and more opaque society, towards an even more intangible world where data collected about you will decide even larger facets of your life. Eventually, your whole existence will be affected.”

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