Russia requires Tinder to share users’ data with security services

Popular dating app Tinder is now required to share users’ data with Russian security services after being placed on an official register, the country’s telecoms watchdog said Monday.

Tinder has over 50 million users swiping right to select dating profiles and find a match. It is part of the US-based Match Group of social apps whose parent firm is InterActiveCorp.

The Roskomnadzor watchdog said that Tinder has been added to its register “after it presented the necessary information”.

Roskomnadzor — together with Russia’s law enforcement authorities and security agencies including the feared FSB, the successor to the KGB — keeps a register of so-called “organisers of information distribution”.

The register lists 175 sites and services including Russia’s biggest bank Sberbank and the country’s popular social media network VK.

By law, the companies on the register must store user data in Russia for six months — including the content of messages exchanged — and hand over any of the information to law enforcement authorities if requested to do so.

If the company refuses to comply, the authorities can act to block sites, as was the case last year with the embattled Telegram messaging app, created by maverick Russian Internet guru Pavel Durov.

In a statement, a Tinder spokesperson said the company had “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,” the spokesperson added.

Some Russian internet users made fun of the move, warning that FSB officers will now have access to any steamy correspondence or unrequited pickup attempts.

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