Project:Dating Privacy

From Wikibase Personal data
Jump to navigation Jump to search


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

My co-founders and I -with some of us being dating app users- have started this collective as a social movement after identifying several privacy risks one is confronted to 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:
Twitter @datingprivacy
Meetings online at
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
Meetup event:
Linkedin event

Subscribe to our mailing list:


  1. Implement tools that allow users to request and analyse their data
  2. Find and ask for SAR with a concrete example and cooperate with communities in order to 1 increase the impact 2 relay the info
  3. Enrich the wiki with data structures extracted from the SARs
  4. Develop methodologies that allow for research without dependency on commercial platforms
  5. Formalize the working group and project with an official legal entity

Partners and MyData Vaud

Recommended practices

  1. Start requesting your data via this link
  • 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:
  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. 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)
  2. Background geolocation when the app is closed
  3. Automatic subscription renewal without notification, when there is a problem you have to contact the headquarter in another country
  4. Fake profiles created by the company (ex. ashley madison)
  5. 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?
  6. Subscription rates change according to user demographic characteristics (ex. age on Tinder, sex on Hinge)
  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


  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?


  1. Jessica Pidoux works on revealing biases in Tinder's secretive matching algorithms.s Pidoux
  2. Paul-Olivier Dehaye obtained the first personal data file from Tinder along with author Judith Duportail 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 Frandrews
  5. HermineL
  6. Judith H. digs into regulation policies and howonline dating interacts with collective practices and communities

TO DO / On going

' 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
*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)
*Defining the project scope x
*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 website
*Document SAR procedures x H
*Write ethical chart all

Dating apps' list

  • Wiki

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

-->list of dating apps available on wikidata

Privacy Policies

Links can be found in the wiki

Princeton-Leuven Longitudinal Corpus of Privacy Policies. Front-end here: and the repository here:

“Out Of Control” – A Review Of Data Sharing By Popular Mobile Apps published in January 2020
see Technical report
Complaint letters



List of Match Group patents:
Tinder Patents:

  number={US20160154569 A1},
  author = {Rad, Sean and
            Carrico, Todd M. and
            Hoskins, Kenneth B and
            Stone, James C.},
  url = {}, 
  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 = {\%3DUS10203854B2}, 
  title = {Matching Process System And Method},
Match Group

Hinge: Brevet publié en 2013 puis abandonné, jamais délivré.

Facebook Dating:



Tinder Annual report: Tinder on-going accusations. The Irish DPC case, also prices can vary according to users' age
My GDPR Complaint Against Tinder
Data Protection Commission launches Statutory Inquiry into MTCH Technology Services Limited (Tinder)

Data leaks and media scandals

Ashley Madison
Ashley Madison Leak No Big Deal? Think Again
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"

Here is a mirror for the OKCupid OSF Emil Kirkegaard dataset
Researchers Caused an Uproar By Publishing Data From 70,000 OkCupid Users
Controversy over OKCupid keynote at CHI 2018

Données privées : le site de rencontres Grindr mis en cause

LOVOO’s CEO Benjamin Bak resigns

En détournant l’app Happn, un hacker peut tracer votre chemin en temps réel

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
- Full paper:


Tinder usage statistics:\#2
Pew Research Center (Feb 2020): The Virtues and Downsides of Online Dating. Retrieved from
Swiss Federal Statistical Office (Nov 2019): Families and Generations Survey. Retrieved from
INED France (2016)

Technical references

An Evidence‐based Forensic Taxonomy of Windows Phone Dating Apps
Privacy Risks in Mobile Dating Apps
Technical report by mnemonic with the Norwegian consummer assoc showing data trading and GDPR compliance coded:
Tinder engineering blog:
TinVec explanation by Tinder's lead engineer:
Happn by exodus:
OkCupid engineering website: Evaluating Perceptual Image Hashes at OkCupid
How OkCupid organizes its multi-page React app
Lovoo engineering: dotGo 2016: Go machine learning at large scale
Lovoo github:
bbuzz 17: Anti-Spam and Machine learning at LOVOO
Digital methods project "Mapping data ecologies of the dating industry"


  1. 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.
"iTunes App Store Scraper"

List of apps with SAR

App Female Male Country
Adopteunmec 1 0 CH
Badoo 1 0 CH
Bumble 1 0 CH
happn 1 0 CH
HER 1 0 CH
Once 1 0 CH
Parship 1 0 CH
PlanetRomeo 0 1 CH
Scruff 0 1 CH
Tinder 1 1 CH