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In Russia, Tinder’s user data must be given to intelligence agencies

Russians using dating app Tinder may discover that their personal info and DMs can be handed over to the authorities.

In Russia, Tinder’s user data must be given to intelligence agencies
[Photo: Thom Holmes/Unsplash]
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If you’re dating in Russia and using Tinder, you should know that the Russian government is now requiring the app to turn over the data on its users–including messages–to the national intelligence agencies, including the Federal Security Service (FSB), the Associated Press (AP) reports.

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It’s not just Tinder. Apparently, the Russian communications regulator has a list of 175 online services operating in the country that are required to keep six months of user data–including DMs–to furnish to Russian authorities on demand. Failure to comply results in blocking, as LinkedIn recently found out. The AP reported that Zello, a voice messaging app popular with Russian truck drivers, was also blocked. The truck drivers had previously used it to mobilize protests against a new toll system in 2015.

Authorities claimed that messaging app Telegram being used by extremists was also on the chopping block, but it’s still available. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp aren’t on the list.

When reached for comment, a Tinder spokesperson emailed the following statement: “We received a request to register with the Russian authorities, and, as of now, we have registered to be compliant. However, this registration in no way shares any user or personal data with any Russian regulatory bodies and we have not handed over any data to their government.”

About the author

Lydia Dishman is a reporter writing about the intersection of tech, leadership, and innovation. She is a regular contributor to Fast Company and has written for CBS Moneywatch, Fortune, The Guardian, Popular Science, and the New York Times, among others.

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