Difference between revisions of "Project:Dating Privacy"

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october 2021, Usbek & Rica, "Hasard et destin : it’s a match !"
october 2021, Usbek & Rica, "Hasard et destin : it’s a match !"
Data privacy "Five Reasons You Should Delete Hinge" https://bit.ly/2J8mKOo

Revision as of 08:03, 6 October 2021



Dating Privacy aims to contribute with data literacy and gaining control over personal information in a secured and ethical manner for end users.

This collective is a social movement we have started after identifying several privacy risks we, as dating app users, are confronted with when looking for a date online: unwanted ads, harms resulting from incorrect profiling and predictions, the possibility of phishing and identity theft.

Dating Privacy is a collective formed by members coming from different countries and disciplines (mathematics, sociology, journalism, law, physics) and foreparts (academia, private, independent, citizen NGO).

Contact e-mail: mailto:datingprivacy@personaldata.io
Twitter @datingprivacy
Meetings online at https://epfl.meet.switch.ch/dating-data
Every first Wednesday of the month at 8:15 pm (CET)

Past event:
“Dating Privacy” Collective Launch: Our Plan To Change the ‘Data for Dates’ Paradigm – Friday 12th Feb at 7:30 pm (CET)
link to the presentation https://tinyurl.com/20210212datingprivacy
Meetup event: https://www.meetup.com/tech4goodLIN/events/276275535/
Linkedin event https://www.linkedin.com/events/datingprivacy-collectivelaunch-6765208415816974336/about/

Subscribe to our mailing list: https://framaforms.org/dating-privacy-1613154652


Dating Privacy seeks to bring together users' practices with dating app companies to improve personal data collection and processing for the sake of privacy and data rights.

  1. Build a community with civil society about dating apps' personal data rights
  2. Raise awareness about personal data concerns in dating apps
  3. Facilitate users' personal data requests and analysis with tools for data literacy
  4. Create a cartography of personal data (wiki data structures extracted from the SARs)
  5. Develop research methodologies that respect personal data rights and contribute with end users' concerns


MyData Vaud

Recommended practices

  1. Start requesting your data via this link https://labs.letemps.ch/interactive/2020/demander-ses-donnees/
  • Type in the box the dating app name you use
  • Copy-paste the message and email address
  • Send it and wait for your file
  1. Already requested your data and received a file? Contribute with the wiki and map what your dating app collects: https://wiki.personaldata.io/wiki/Item:Q3569
  2. Are you an Android phone user? Download Exodus Privacy helps you to know which trackers and permissions are embedded in dating apps installed on your device.
  3. Configure your privacy settings on your dating app.
  4. Check out Mozilla privacy test on different dating apps
  5. Request deleting your data on a dating app when you stop using the app via the settings or sending an email. It is not enough to uninstall the app

Problems Identified


  1. Subscription rates change according to user demographic characteristics (ex. age on Tinder, sex on Hinge). Prices are invisible outside the app
  2. Sharing personal data with third parties which is not necessary for the app functioning (ex. for advertisement, see The Grindr case study) and for other purposes unknown (ex. the muslim app providing data to the american army)
  3. Background geolocation when the app is closed
  4. Automatic subscription renewal without notification, when there is a problem you have to contact the headquarter in another country
  5. Fake profiles created by the company (ex. ashley madison, Lovoo), buying profiles
  6. Between 10-20% of users find a partner in France, Switzerland and United States. Do users really get the outcomes they want from the app in exchange for providing their data? Are users retained in the app?
  7. The app ignores settings for presenting results (ex. show me only women and the user sees men)
  8. Users are banned without any reason given by the app
  9. One user said it has zero matches on Tinder
  10. Data leaks because of security breaches, the app did not protected the data properly


  1. Scams, phishing, fake profiles. Users are affected by malicious user behaviours so how are dating apps moderating this and protecting users via the analysis of their personal data?
  2. Rape and harassment: when "unmatching" on Tinder, the conversations and the profile are deleted for the victim. The victim loses the data to report, see https://pages.rts.ch/emissions/temps-present/11994345-le-camp-de-la-honte-aux-portes-de-leurope-08-04-2021.html?anchor=12111124#12111124


  1. Jessica Pidoux works on revealing biases in Tinder's secretive matching algorithms.shttps://jessicapidoux.info/ Pidoux
  2. Paul-Olivier Dehaye obtained the first personal data file from Tinder along with author Judith Duportail https://bit.ly/3cUOyTB Podehaye
  3. Marie-Pierre maps the dating app ecosystem and delves into dating app patents Genferei
  4. Frank has revealed privacy risks on Hinge and is currently being messed around by Hinge, Bumble and Tinder having asked for his data https://bit.ly/2J8mKOo Frandrews
  5. Judith H. digs into regulation policies and howonline dating interacts with collective practices and communities

On-going projects

Description planning in progress complete who
Geneva student projects x MP, JH, JP, PO
Tool development, collaboration with Graasp x JP
Prepare TRUSTS project JP, JH, MP
Defining the project scope with Hestia x JP
Create and publish newsletter x JP, MP
Q&A for our website x JH
Data analysis workshop with Hestia x MP, JP, CF


  1. https://eu-citizen.science/blog/2021/07/19/monthoftheproject-winner-amai/
  3. COESO


Description planning in progress complete who
*Map the data ecosystem x all
*Next meeting Define the case study with questions we want to analyse x
*Add downloads per app in the wiki. x
*Add ranking per app in CH, FR, UK the wiki. x J, MP
*Dating app list https://tinyurl.com/goaldatingdata
*Add link to privacy policy x
*Add examples of silver dating apps (ref Le Monde) x MP
*Add examples of community apps x MP
*Check if policy documents are the same in different languages FR, EN, ... ( i.e TikTok doesn't)
*Organize media articles per data
*Develop tools for data literacy
*Define the methodology: data protection protocol and data collection and analysis method (EPFL Grasp tool or other?)
*Data analysis x
*Patent search and analysis MP?
*Privacy policies analysis
*Email us other ideas you have for contributing x all
*Publish launch video x J
*Communicate regularly X F
*Keep updated mailing list subscribers x
*Create a website x
*Document our tests in the apps
*Document SAR procedures x H
*Write ethical chart + privacy policy x H
*Check for subcontractors who wiil back-up the data H

Dating app list

  • Wiki

-->list of dating apps available on this wiki with ranking on apple and Android

-->list of dating apps available on wikidata

Top charts

top charts in France https://sensortower.com/android/rankings/top/phone/france/dating?date=2021-04-23

top charts in CH https://sensortower.com/android/rankings/top/phone/switzerland/dating?date=2021-04-23

top charts in UK https://sensortower.com/android/rankings/top/phone/great-britain/dating?date=2021-04-23

Privacy Policies

Links can be found in the wiki

Princeton-Leuven Longitudinal Corpus of Privacy Policies. Front-end here: https://privacypolicies.cs.princeton.edu/ghfront/ and the repository here: https://github.com/citp/privacy-policy-historical

“Out Of Control” – A Review Of Data Sharing By Popular Mobile Apps published in January 2020
see Technical report https://fil.forbrukerradet.no/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/mnemonic-security-test-report-v1.0.pdf
report https://fil.forbrukerradet.no/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/2020-01-14-out-of-control-final-version.pdf
Complaint letters https://www.forbrukerradet.no/side/complaints-against-grindr-and-five-third-party-companies/

LUMAscape https://www.okanjo.com/blog/2016/12/14/ssp-dsp-dmp-rtb-wtf


List of Match Group patents: https://policies.tinder.com/intellectual-property/intl/en
Tinder Patents:

  number={US20160154569 A1},
  author = {Rad, Sean and
            Carrico, Todd M. and
            Hoskins, Kenneth B and
            Stone, James C.},
  url = {https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?II=0&ND=3&adjacent=true&locale=en_EP&FT=D&date=20160602&CC=US&NR=2016154569A1&KC=A1#}, 
  title = {Matching Process System And Method}, 
  author = {Carrico, Todd M. and
            Hoskins, Kenneth B and
            Rad, Sean and
            Stone, James C. and
            Badeen, Jonathan},
  url = {https://worldwide.espacenet.com/patent/search/family/050234419/publication/US10203854B2?q=pn\%3DUS10203854B2}, 
  title = {Matching Process System And Method},
Match Group

Hinge: Brevet publié en 2013 puis abandonné, jamais délivré. https://worldwide.espacenet.com/publicationDetails/biblio?CC=US&NR=2013066972A1&KC=A1&FT=D&ND=3&date=20130314&DB=EPODOC&locale=en_EP#

Facebook Dating: https://worldwide.espacenet.com/searchResults?submitted=true&locale=en_EP&DB=en.worldwide.espacenet.com&ST=advanced&EXTFTXT=%22dating+service%22&PN=&AP=&PR=&PD=&PA=facebook&IN=sharp&CPC=&IC=

Media Press







to organize by date

Jessica Pidoux in Media

5 October 2021, RTS ABE, "https://www.rts.ch/play/tv/a-bon-entendeur/video/sites-de-rencontre--lamour-a-tous-prix?urn=urn:rts:video:12545127" https://www.rts.ch/play/tv/a-bon-entendeur/video/sites-de-rencontre--lamour-a-tous-prix?urn=urn:rts:video:12545127
october 2021, Usbek & Rica, "Hasard et destin : it’s a match !" Data privacy "Five Reasons You Should Delete Hinge" https://bit.ly/2J8mKOo


4 janv. 2021 "Amour : la fin de l'engagement ? - Vox Pop - ARTE" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOiaY7PUxz4

Studies conducted scrapping dating app profiles


Tinder Annual report: Tinder on-going accusations. The Irish DPC case, also prices can vary according to users' age https://s22.q4cdn.com/279430125/files/doc_financials/2019/ar/Match-Group-2019-Annual-Report.pdf
My GDPR Complaint Against Tinder https://forum.personaldata.io/t/my-gdpr-complaint-against-tinder/70
Data Protection Commission launches Statutory Inquiry into MTCH Technology Services Limited (Tinder) https://www.dataprotection.ie/en/news-media/latest-news/data-protection-commission-launches-statutory-inquiry-mtch-technology

Data leaks and media scandals

Ashley Madison
Ashley Madison Leak No Big Deal? Think Again https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/priority-ashley-madison-leak-no-big-deal-think/
Les résultats de Grindr révélés grâce au scandale Ashley Madison "Grindr a eu des revenus résultant à la fois des abonnements et de la publicité de près de 16 millions de dollars en 2012" https://www.fugues.com/243577-article-les-resultats-de-grindr-reveles-grace-au-scandale-ashley-madison.html

Here is a mirror for the OKCupid OSF Emil Kirkegaard dataset https://www.reddit.com/r/datasets/comments/4jj53i/here_is_a_mirror_for_the_okcupid_osf_emil/
Researchers Caused an Uproar By Publishing Data From 70,000 OkCupid Users https://fortune.com/2016/05/18/okcupid-data-research/
Controversy over OKCupid keynote at CHI 2018 https://www.reddit.com/r/sciences/comments/8edxm3/controversy_over_okcupid_keynote_at_chi_2018/

Données privées : le site de rencontres Grindr mis en cause https://www.lemonde.fr/pixels/article/2018/04/03/donnees-privees-le-site-de-rencontres-grindr-mis-en-cause_5279794_4408996.html

LOVOO’s CEO Benjamin Bak resigns https://inside.lovoo.com/en/lovoos-ceo-benjamin-bak-resigns-2/

En détournant l’app Happn, un hacker peut tracer votre chemin en temps réel https://cyberguerre.numerama.com/5827-en-detournant-lapp-happn-un-hacker-peut-tracer-votre-chemin-en-temps-reel.html

MobiFiends Barcelona Based dating app, user data breach https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/news/data-breach-exposes-four-million/

coffee meets Bagel 2019,Happy Valentine’s Day: your dating app account was hacked, says Coffee Meets Bagel https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/14/happy-valentines-day-your-dating-app-account-was-hacked-says-coffee-meets-bagel/

J crush 2019, Jewish dating app JCrush exposed user data and private messages https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/04/jcrush-exposed-data-messages/

Donal Daters 2018, Donald Daters, a dating app for Trump supporters, leaked its users’ data https://techcrunch.com/2018/10/15/donald-daters-a-dating-app-for-trump-supporters-leaked-its-users-data/

Meet Mindful 2021, Hacker leaks data of 2.28 million dating site users a dating site platform "for people who are into health, well-being, and mindfulness" https://www.zdnet.com/article/hacker-leaks-data-of-2-28-million-dating-site-users/

3somes, CougarD, Gay Daddy Bear, Xpal, BBW Dating, Casualx, SugarD, Herpes Dating 2020, Report: Breach Exposes 100,000+ Users on Niche Dating Apps https://www.vpnmentor.com/blog/report-dating-apps-leak/

Fessées, menottes, bondage : les préférences sexuelles de 20 000 Français fuitent d’un forum Forum "Domi" reportedly related as subsidiary to self claimed fintech group BD Multimedia https://cyberguerre.numerama.com/4925-fessees-menottes-bondage-les-preferences-sexuelles-de-20-000-francais-fuitent-dun-forum.html

Wikipedia source: https://privacy.wiki/Dating_Apps_User_Information_Leaked_Online

References with databases

Rosenfeld, Michael J., Reuben J. Thomas, and Sonia Hausen. 2019 How Couples Meet and Stay Together 2017 fresh sample. [Computer files]. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Libraries.
The OKCupid dataset: A very large public dataset of dating site users https://www.researchgate.net/project/The-OKCupid-dataset-A-very-large-public-dataset-of-dating-site-users
- Full paper: https://web.archive.org/web/20200728135539/https://openpsych.net/files/papers/Kirkegaard_2016g.pdf


Tinder usage statistics: https://www.businessofapps.com/data/tinder-statistics/\#2
Pew Research Center (Feb 2020): The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating. Retrieved from https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/2020/02/06/the-virtues-and-downsides-of-online-dating/
Swiss Federal Statistical Office (Nov 2019): Families and Generations Survey. Retrieved from https://www.bfs.admin.ch/bfs/fr/home/statistiques/population/enquetes/efg.assetdetail.10467789.html
INED France (2016) https://www.ined.fr/fr/publications/editions/population-et-societes/sites-rencontres-qui-y-trouve-son-conjoint/
Roughly six-in-ten online daters in the U.S. are concerned about data collection (May 29, 2020) https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/05/29/roughly-six-in-ten-online-daters-in-the-u-s-are-concerned-about-data-collection/
Survey in Germany (2017) https://www.splendid-research.com/de/studie-dating-portale.html

Technical references

An Evidence‐based Forensic Taxonomy of Windows Phone Dating Apps https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1556-4029.13820
Privacy Risks in Mobile Dating Apps https://arxiv.org/abs/1505.02906
Technical report by mnemonic with the Norwegian consummer assoc showing data trading and GDPR compliance coded: https://fil.forbrukerradet.no/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/mnemonic-security-test-report-v1.0.pdf
Tinder engineering blog: https://medium.com/tinder-engineering/
TinVec explanation by Tinder's lead engineer: https://youtu.be/j2rfLFYYdfM
Happn by exodus: https://reports.exodus-privacy.eu.org/en/reports/com.ftw_and_co.happn/latest/
OkCupid engineering website: Evaluating Perceptual Image Hashes at OkCupid https://tech.okcupid.com/evaluating-perceptual-image-hashes-okcupid/
How OkCupid organizes its multi-page React app https://tech.okcupid.com/how-okcupid-organizes-its-multi-page-react-app/
Lovoo engineering: dotGo 2016: Go machine learning at large scale https://lovoodotblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/01/dotgo-2016-go-machine-learning-at-large-scale/
Lovoo github: https://github.com/lovoo
bbuzz 17: Anti-Spam and Machine learning at LOVOO https://lovoodotblog.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/bbuzz-17-anti-spam-and-machine-learning-at-lovoo/
Digital methods project "Mapping data ecologies of the dating industry" https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1n-p_efBmkK2v1KGCbHyHb_csmR6D7KN8SX3qron9Cn4/edit

Cooperative & Data Literacy Tools

  1. Pythus: un projet pour analyser les dangers des applications Android https://www.nextinpact.com/article/45976/pithus-projet-pour-analyser-dangers-applications-android
  2. https://app.quicktype.io/
  3. https://digitalplatformobservatory.org/lapp-dpo/
  4. https://graasp.eu/
  5. https://bevigil.com app metadata, permissions, ...
  6. Cookieviz, une dataviz en temps réel du tracking de votre navigation créé par le CNIL https://linc.cnil.fr/fr/cookieviz-une-dataviz-en-temps-reel-du-tracking-de-votre-navigation
  7. Tools to sample how many apps are in the Google and Play stores: "Google Play Store Scraper" is a simple tool to extract the details of individual apps, collect their related apps, retrieve app permissions, and retrieve a list of apps for a given keyword." https://wiki.digitalmethods.net/Dmi/ToolDatabase ex:Google Play Store Scraper http://tools.digitalmethods.net/app-scrapers/#/google for login ask MP
  8. Doc example of how to read data exports https://slack.com/intl/en-ch/help/articles/220556107-How-to-read-Slack-data-exports
  9. The observatory of anonymity https://cpg.doc.ic.ac.uk/observatory/analyze-your-data
  10. RDM kit: online guide and tools containing good data management practices applicable to research projects https://rdmkit.elixir-europe.org/all_tools_and_resources.html
  11. Lookup popular software licenses summarized at-a-glance https://tldrlegal.com/
  12. http://corrupt.marketing/publishers/grindr.com
  13. https://app.quicktype.io/
  14. Outil PIA- CNIL https://www.cnil.fr/fr/outil-pia-telechargez-et-installez-le-logiciel-de-la-cnil
  15. GDPR Data Portability https://cellar-c2.services.clever-cloud.com/alias-code-is-law-assets/static/report/gdpr_data_portability_the_forgotten_right_report_full.pdf
  16. APIs and tools to help Developers and DPOs to manage GDPR compliance at scale https://www.alias.dev/
  17. heroku https://www.heroku.com/
  18. open humans
  19. art tools: https://www.brainstore.com/en/tools-summary
  20. pithus: https://beta.pithus.org/report/226d01d9645270283cfbd056e8021032d06ae29b4212afc81fa5552a133222da
  21. NYT viz: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/28/world/asia/coronavirus-singapore-migrants.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur
  22. https://fr.openfoodfacts.org
  23. https://correctiv.org/crowdnewsroom-pro/
  24. exodus privacy
  25. algorithmwatch -https://algorithmwatch.org/de/dataskop/
  26. madada
  27. https://ucldigitalpress.co.uk/Book/Article/76/100/5736/
  28. https://www.peren.gouv.fr/projets/
  29. (In progress) a 1M EU project: https://csi-cop.eu/
  30. TrackerControl https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.kollnig.missioncontrol.play&hl=en_US&gl=US

List of apps for which we have obtained our data after a SAR

App Female user Male user Country file format
Adopteunmec 2 0 CH ; FR json
Badoo 1 0 CH json, zip, jpeg, txt
Bumble 1 0 CH html, zip (il y a quelques années)
happn 1 0 CH csv, zip, json, audio, photos (jpeg), gz
HER 1 0 CH different csv.zip, jpeg,
Once 1 0 CH html, jpeg,
Parship 1 0 CH pdf, zip, csv, zip, text, photos,
PlanetRomeo 0 1 CH pdf.zip, json, yaml, jpeg,
Scruff 0 1 CH zip, ds_file, xml, csv, .md, image,
Grindr 0 1 CH zip, image,
Tinder 1 1 CH json, zip, html, jpeg
celibataire.ch 1 0 CH does not provide a file

Catalog describing data formats: https://github.com/hestiaAI/data-catalog