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Tinder required to share user information with Russian authorities

Apps on a phone. (Free Use/Pixabay)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Popular dating app Tinder is being required to share personal information about Russian users with the country’s security services as the Kremlin continues to encroach on its citizens’ privacy.

Roskomnadzor, Russia’s communication’s regulator, added Tinder on May 31 to a list of websites that must store user information inside the country and turn it over to the authorities at their request.

People around the world use Tinder, which is owned by U.S.-based Match Group, to find romantic relationships by liking photos and sending messages.

Tinder collects data about its users, including their personal interests, photos, videos, messages, and profiles of people they like to enhance the service, the company says on its website. The app also stores debit- and credit-card information of those that subscribe to premium services.

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Russia experienced a surge in Tinder usage during the World Cup, which was held in the country last year. In March, about 185,000 Russians living in cities of 100,000 or more people used the app every day, according to a study by Mediascope.

Match Group did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Russia has already added other dating websites to a list of sites required to provide information, including Badoo and Mambo. Leading Russian Internet sites, including Yandex, VKontakte, and Mail.ru are also required to comply with the requirement.