Since the new GDPR rules for businesses have taken effect, you have the right to request to see what data a company has been collecting on you (that you supplied). If you do this for google or Facebook, you’ll basically see everything needed to create a complete personality profile on you.
But what about Tinder? Especially in light of the increasingly more difficult profile resets, it would be interesting to learn what data they do and don’t store. When you try to get your data from them, a process they don’t exactly make easy, they claim you will just find things like your profile info, images, and sent messages i.e. just the bare minimum of what you would expect an online dating platform to store on their servers. Is that all?
Is Tinder the best dating app for you?
Statistically speaking, probably not. People who follow our app recommendations have 2 times as many dates on average compared to using Tinder.
The User Data Tinder Stores (Officially)
I have requested and downloaded my own data from a recent test account, and this is what they had on me, or could have had on me if I had provided the information (empty fields in the report):
Data Collected (Officially)
- Messages sent and received
- Pictures uploaded (compressed)
- Places visited (if using the Places feature (currently unreleased))
- Purchases, date and platform, and interestingly, location while making the purchase (Gold, Plus, Consumables)
- Spotify account, if linked
- Usage data, as in when and how often per day you opened the app, swiped right or left, sent or received messages, or received matches
- User information, including your birthday, last active time, bio information, search preferences, etc.
- E-Mail address
- IP address
- Your full name
- Last active position (GPS)
- Phone platform and app version
- Phone number
- Instagram pictures (via link)
Most of this was to be expected, but noteworthy are the saved IP address and phone number. Perhaps more interesting is what data could have been expected, but is missing from this list. Such as:
Data NOT Collected (Officially)
- Instagram account
- Snapchat account
- Device ID
While the first two seem like a suspicious oversight, considering they do store the linked Spotify account, the non-appearance of your phone’s device ID should put rumors to rest that you need a new phone for a successful reset.
What’s even more interesting is that I can see in my data that Tinder remembers my old account, because I used the same phone number (but not the same email address.)
Plus, a lot of information for Tinder’s matching algorithm is missing, such as your elo score. Hence:
Update, 2019-10: Tinder’s algorithm no longer uses the elo system but there is still a score so to speak. The linked guide has been updated.
The User Data Tinder Probably Also Stores (Unofficially)
- Instagram account
- Snapchat account
- Score, or information that lets the algorithm calculate that score.
Now in the case of your score, you might argue that it is not data you provided them with, but rather something they calculated themselves out of the data you did provide, therefore they do not have to let you in on it. The missing social accounts, however, I believe they would have had to include.
In any case, this does show us what data Tinder certainly collects about us, and that can help us when the time comes for another reset. Note that I still had the same Device ID and IP address for all my other resets, yet no linked social accounts, new pictures, and a new E-Mail address, but the same phone number, and the only account they remembered was the one I created with the same phone number. If you think your reset didn’t work, you might want to check your own data to make sure Tinder actually remembers you.
How to Request Your Data From Tinder
As mentioned, they don’t exactly make this easy for us, and a couple of things you should know beforehand:
- The E-Mail with your download link will be delivered within “a few days”, between two and four it seems.
- Once the mail is sent, the download link will only remain valid for 24 hours. After this, you will have to request a new link. They only tell you about this in the mail itself.
They say they do this for technical (former) and security (latter) reasons, but that sets off my bullshit detector. It just makes it more inconvenient to access your data. You’ll have to watch out for that mail every day, and if you miss your window, you have to start again. Even if you manage it, you might still get an error, as happened to me on my second attempt, 18 hours after the mail was sent. Then another error when trying to request the link again.
But in a perfect world, this is how it works:
- Go to https://account.gotinder.com/data
- Log in to your account
- Provide your E-Mail address with which you wish to receive your link. Best use the same address as for your Tinder account
- Click on the link within 24 hours of receiving the mail.
- Download your data
- Open your data –
- using a JSON editor. If you do not want to install one, you can use an online editor such as https://jsoneditoronline.org/ at your own risk (privacy concerns).
- by opening the html file in the folder. This will show you your data, but not give as much insight into what they could store.
Et voilà, you can see for yourself what they have on you. Whether or not you believe that’s all the information they collected is up to you.
What do you think? Does your data look different? Do you have something to add? Feel free to leave a comment below, or visit the SwipeHelper Subreddit. See you there