What Data Does Tinder Collect on You? And How Do You Request Yours?

Last updated on 2019-10-20

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?

 

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):

tinder-data-file-part-1tinder-data-file-part-2 tinder-data-file-part-4

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.)

tinder-data-file-part-3-reset

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.

tinder-privacy-request-oops-no-longer-valid tinder-privacy-request-oops-already-submitted

 

 

 

 

 

But in a perfect world, this is how it works:

  1. Go to https://account.gotinder.com/data
  2. Log in to your account
    gotinder-account-login
  3. Provide your E-Mail address with which you wish to receive your link. Best use the same address as for your Tinder account
  4. Click on the link within 24 hours of receiving the mail.
    tinder-privacy-request-data-download-email
  5. Download your data
  6. Open your data –
    1. 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).
    2. 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 🙂

 

34 Comments

  1. Does anyone know how to exercise GDPR right to delete for banned accounts? In theory if you can legally make then delete any data tied to you (including facial recognition) then if you started a new account they couldn’t know it was you. Because if they kept any information tied to you then they would have violated GDPR.

  2. Hi, I have two specific questions regarding the data they provide you:
    1. Does the « sent/received » messages also include the content of the messages or only the number of messages?
    In fact I saw in their Privacy Policy that they can only provide you with sent messages as the received messages require consent of the sender…..
    2. If they provide you with the content of the received messages, do they also include received messages of users who have unmatched you or deleted their profiles?
    Thanks!

  3. If Tinder deletes your data after 3 months then if you request your data won’t they have no data to send you? Wouldn’t that be a way to know if you’ve successfully reset? (If they have no data to send you)

  4. Ive been on tinder for years and a subscriber to tinderplus. All of a sudden, my account is banned. Is there any other way that i can still use my previous account?

  5. Thanks for your article.

    I tried this by using a different number on a different phone, and a completely new email but it didn’t work – no noob boost or likes or even tinder gold circle, and I’m used to getting around 25+ likes in the first 24 hours and have historically done well for matches until after a while conversations keep stopping dead, and despite having 99+ likes, no matches can be found.
    Could it be because I am using the same laptop and therefore IP address that my clean reset did not work? I was pretty careful to use different images.

    I have requested my data but am a bit confused what a JSON editor is and how to use it. I also don’t have much faith in the process after reading another poster that suspected information on their previous account may have been withheld.
    Thanks

    • It’s possible it’s down to the laptop, but it shouldn’t really matter seeing as domestic IP addresses change every time you restart the router. If you think this was the reason, you might repeat the process but in the middle of it reset your router so you get a different IP.

      You don’t have to use a JSON editor, there’s an easier way that I may not have featured prominently enough in the description. It’s just that they don’t show all the date that easier way.

  6. It’s weird…using Tinder for 1 year now. I never got many matches(Photofeeler consistently rates my photos around 4.5-5.5), but I did get a few per week. Using boosts a lot. Have Tinder Gold. Resetting quite a bit. After my last reset, there was radio silence for a long period. Zero. Nada. Zilch. Though as I said I don’t get many matches anyway, it felt a bit weird. I didn’t know of any other way to confirm that it’s not a shadowban other than wait to see a match or like(as I have Tinder Gold). So just in order to confirm if this was a shadowban, I:

    1) Switch my account(apparently I can do it) to “woman looking for men” and start a boost. After a while I can see I’m getting likes(obviously men who right swipe to anyone without looking – geez guys). Okay, so the account is not shadowbanned. Or is it? Maybe Tinder ties the shadowban to “Gender” and “Show Me” settings? Let’s try one more thing.

    2) Back to “man looking for women”. This time switched my photos with a male model for a few mins and started a boost. Immediately I get matches/likes. Switch to my own photos again(cropped), back to radio silence.

    So I guess I’ve confirmed it’s not a shadowban, right? The only other explanation would be image recognition, but I find it very improbable that Tinder turned “off” the shadowban the minute I used the male model photo, and turned it back on when I switched back to my own photos.

    My guess for this long dry period is that after a year of liberally swiping around Stockholm and using boosts and resets, I’ve just “tapped out” most of whatever pool of women were “available” to me . Now the same women see the same photos – most of them swiped left before, they do again. Those that swiped right at first, now swipe left since they’ve seen me again(assuming here that they do recognize me…I did have one woman actually ask me how come they see my profile every now and then). This leaves only the new accounts who never seen my profile before – obviously a minority, hence the reduced matches.

    Either that or it’s just luck and a dry spell. But I think I’ve confirmed this is not a shadowban, correct?

  7. I’ve reset a few time, using better pictures each time (as per photofeeler results) and using the same phone number each time. Noticeably I’ve been getting fewer and fewer matches each time. Requested my data and nothing came up about my old accounts with the same phone number. Is it possible they’re simply withholding that information?

  8. With GDPR comes the ‘right to erasure’ (article 17). Shouldn’t it be possible to just make a request for Tinder to delete all your data then?

  9. I tried this and got the error issue after less than an hour. It won’t let me request a new link. What did you do when it didn’t work?

      • Any idea as to how this will work when someone who has been banned relinquishes their number to their cellular carrier and it’s assigned to a new cellular customer? If the number was previously associated with a banned Tinder account will the new owner of the number be unable to join Tinder?

  10. SwipeHelper, I think that the phone ID matters. This is an IDFA, which is number that identifies every mobile device and allows targeted ads for that user. Tinder is targeting those ads to you as you swipe through your stack, so it makes sense that they want to use that number to track you instead of a phone number. I think for a full ELO reset, you need a new phone ID, idk if that can be reset. Maybe you need a new phone. Thats just my opinion.

    • I can see where you’re coming from, but how do you explain all the users for whom a new phone was not necessary to successfully reset their account?

  11. I have a question, since Tinder provides the amount of left/right swipes in your report, could you somehow use this to your advantage by adjusting your swipe percentage so it’s closer to the “30-70” ratio that you claimed is the sweet spot in your 2016 “How Elo score is calculated” article? I’m just wondering if the data provided in your personal report can help you boost your Elo in some way.

    • It could, if you’re very far off, but if you’re just swiping normally according to your tastes, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  12. Great post! I was unaware of the gdpr rules until now. This could open up a lot of interesting doors. I’m sure someone could legally press companys like tinder for the missing information like your phone number. Then keep pressing for more and more information. Tinder is small compared to Google. Have you requested your information from Google. I know it’s off topic but I’m curious.

    • Thanks, I think it’s very interesting information too, especially regarding the reset implications.

      I have, and the data dump is much bigger, yet the procedure is much easier and more convenient (basically the same, but without stupidly restrictive time limits). They have all your search history, pictures uploaded, and location data (if enabled) etc. Just what you might expect.

  13. “(…) 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.)”

    Well, I think, you have something forgotten at this point: You didn’t change you’re phone ID right? So they caught you anyway. Even if you had changed you’re phone number.

    • I’m afraid you’ve got it the wrong way around, or missed some context: I reset so many times with the same phone ID, but it only remembered this one account that I created using the same phone number for a change.

      That means phone ID seems not to matter.

      • do you mean that even though you created lots of accounts with the same telephone number (i.e. crate account with phone, delete account, create account with same phone and repeat multiple times, it only remembered the latest account?

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