TBS Learns To Love

Tinder Knows All Your Filthy Secrets … and Is Free to Sell Them

According to a recent study, not only can Tinder legally keep all your data, they can sell it too. They know all your secrets …


There are many things that Tinder knows about me. It knows that my puns are recycled and it knows that I’ll die alone, forever stuck in the lonely purgatory of unsuitability. Sentenced forever to see the same type of photos, with different faces, but converse with none of them. Cliffside activewear. Bathroom selfie. Sad face.

However, one pioneering lovelorn character decided to discover how much they actually knew about her. Using the awesome power of the EU data protection law, which we certainly do not have on our fair shores, with our data laws protecting an entity over the individual, and the rights of the individual versus an entity (read: retail), but nothing as ornate as the EU’s equivalent.

I digress. Judith Deportail, the journalist behind the profile, soon discovered that the smutty towers of Tinder had over 800 pages of data paper-clipped to her e-face. Which, she warns, is par for the course for your standard I’m not here for hookups spouting Tinderite. A recent study echoed her discovery, headed up by Luke Stark, a digital technology sociologist at Dartmouth University. He states, “You are lured into giving away all this information…apps such as Tinder are taking advantage of a simple emotional phenomenon; we can’t feel data. This is why seeing everything printed strikes you. We are physical creatures. We need materiality.”

Our relationship with who we seek on Tinder is extremely similar to the relationship we have with Tinder itself: we know fuck all about who we’re getting romantically involved with. To be fair, Tinder makes it very clear that information shared with the app is not certain to remain private. So, maybe we’re a bit too trusting. We should be aware that the data you make available to the application can be mined by anyone who knows their way around a digital pickaxe. Tinder can also sell this data, if it so desires, to potential advertisers and interested buyers.

I suppose the lesson here is much like in the world of romance: wear protection and assume the absolute worst until they earn your trust.


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