Fineprint: Tinder

If you’re single and have a cellphone, chances are you have Tinder.

Tinder is the essential dating/hook up app in our digital world, giving bored and adventurous fingers the power to swipe while building digital bridges around the awkwardness of meeting someone new.

It’s also likely that the lightning speed at which you swipe right or left is the same pace you took while downloading the app, probably missing a few things in the privacy policy and terms of use.

Those long pages of fine print may not seem like a big deal, but they can be when you consider that Tinder is a part of Match Group Inc., a corporation made of a collection of dating and tutoring apps, which reported on Oct. 16, 2015 that it frequently experiences “malicious technology-related events, such as cyber attacks, computer viruses, worms or other destructive or disruptive software or distributed denial of service attacks.”

Match Group also reports that they’ve taken action to protect their systems but that there’s no guarantee that their efforts will prevent significant break-ins to their system, meaning, an Ashley Madison-type breach is something you should consider possible at Tinder as well.  

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Tinder accesses a lot of information on your mobile device including whether you are making a phone call and the remote number connected by a call, your activity, which apps are running, and your browsing history and bookmarks, aside from standard access to your media files and location. Tinder might not necessarily be using all of that information, but when apps need to access specific bits of information, similar types are clustered together on your cellphone, so the app must request the entire cluster. On older phones, you must approve Tinder to access all data under the umbrella, but on some newer phones you can go through each information access request and individually approve or deny every one.

2. Tinder uses cookies and web beacons and allows third parties to do the same through their app. Cookies are essentially a bit of script put on your computer or browser so that websites recognize you when you visit them more than once. Web beacons are similar, except instead of scripts they use graphics or images. Both Tinder and third parties use them in the app to collect, analyze and retain your data. You can opt-out of some of these third party data trackers by going to the Digital Advertising Alliance.

3. Your information can be shared among other Match Group companies and in the case of a change in their business, like if they merge with another company.

4. All content you post becomes theirs. According to the Tinder Terms of Service, the company has full reign over that sexy selfie you posted until the end of time, and they can use it for whatever purposes they want and change it however they please.