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

Last updated on 2018-11-04

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:

The User Data Tinder Probably Also Stores (Unofficially)

  • Instagram account
  • Snapchat account
  • ELO Score, or information that lets the algorithm calculate that score, such as your matches’ scores.
  • ???

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 🙂

 

10 Comments

  1. 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?

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. “(…) 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.

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