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What do dating apps do with my data, and what can I do about it?

Illustration of a couple inside a cinema, whilst different dating company employees wearing the dating apps brand on their t shirt observing the two couples

Today, 1 in 5 relationships in the UK start online, and over the past ten years online dating has taken the world by storm. Dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, Hinge and Bumble have between 1 and 7 million users who all submit personal data of one kind or another. We wanted to find out what's actually going on with all that information.

We reviewed privacy policies from the top 5 most popular dating apps (Tinder, Plenty of Fish, Match, Bumble, and Grindr) to figure out exactly what data dating apps collect and what they do with it. Have you used a dating app before? Want to know how you can manage the data they collect? Read on.

Tinder’s Privacy Policy

What data does Tinder collect?

When you sign up for an account, Tinder collects certain kinds of info about you, including:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • Email address
  • Address and location
  • Interactions or content on their platform
  • Interests or hobbies
  • Paid services also require your payment information

As well as these voluntary kinds of information, Tinder apps also collect additional data automatically just through use of the app. This kind of information includes:

  • Usage information such as search history and interactions
  • Device information such as IP address
  • Network information
  • Device location

Tinder also collects information from elsewhere on the web. For example, if you link your account with your Facebook, Tinder can collect information from your Facebook profile. Tinder also collects information about you from advertisers to assess how well their ads are doing.

How does Tinder use my data?

Tinder uses your data for a number of things, such as:

  • To allow you to use the app
  • To “serve you relevant content and ads”
  • To analyse user traffic and improve their app
  • To comply with law enforcement

Read more on Tinder's privacy policy.

Delete my data from Tinder

Plenty of Fish’s (PoF) Privacy Policy

What data does Plenty of Fish collect?

When you make an account, PoF collects some basic information about you, such as:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • “Your personality, lifestyle, interests”
  • Photos and videos of you
  • Your race
  • Your sexual orientation
  • Your religious beliefs (in some cases)
  • Paid services also require your payment information

As well as these voluntary kinds of information, PoF collects additional data automatically just through use of the app. This kind of information includes:

  • Usage information such as search history and interactions
  • Device information such as IP address
  • Network information
  • Device location

PoF also collects information from elsewhere on the web. For example, if you link your account with your Facebook, Plenty of Fish can collect information from your Facebook profile. Plenty of Fish also collects information about you from advertisers to assess how well their ads are doing.

How does Plenty of Fish use my data?

Like Tinder, Plenty of Fish uses your data for a number of different things, including:

  • To allow you to use and interact on their service
  • To “serve you relevant content and ads”
  • To analyse user behaviour and improve their service
  • To comply with law enforcement

Read more on PlentyofFish's privacy policy.

Request my data from social media companies

Match’s Privacy Policy

What data does Match collect?

When you make an account, Match collects some personal details, such as:

  • Your name
  • Date of birth
  • Gender
  • “Your personality, lifestyle, interests”
  • Photos and videos of you
  • Your race
  • Your sexual orientation
  • Your religious beliefs (in some cases)
  • Paid services also require your payment information

As well as these voluntary kinds of information, Match collects additional data automatically just through use of the app. This kind of information includes:

  • Usage information such as search history and interactions
  • Device information such as IP address
  • Network information
  • Device location

Match also collects information from elsewhere on the web. For example, if you link your account with your Facebook, Match can collect information from your Facebook profile. Match also collects information about you from advertisers to assess how well their ads are doing.

How does Match use my data?

Like Tinder, Match uses your data for a number of different things, including:

  • To allow you to use and interact on their service
  • To “serve you relevant content and ads”
  • To analyse user behaviour and improve their service
  • To comply with law enforcement

Read more on Match's privacy policy.

Delete my data from Match

Bumble’s Privacy Policy

What data does Bumble collect?

When you download the Bumble app and create an account, the company collects a number of different kinds of personal information about you. These include:

  • Name
  • Username
  • Email address
  • Mobile number
  • Gender identity
  • Date of birth
  • Sexual preference
  • Photographs
  • Location
  • Login information and friends list from linked social media accounts
  • In some cases (such as for loyalty programmes) Bumble collects your home address

Like other apps, Bumble also collects some information automatically. This kind of information include:

  • Geolocation info
  • IP address
  • Device information
  • Network information

How does Bumble use my data?

Bumble uses your personal data for a number of purposes, such as:

  • To offer their services
  • To analyse and improve their services
  • To “personalise the App and the content we deliver to you”
  • To comply with law enforcement

Read more on Bumble's privacy policy.

Delete my data from Bumble

Grindr’s Privacy Policy

What data does Grindr collect?

Like other dating apps, Grindr collects quite a lot of personal data. This kind of data includes:

  • Name
  • Username
  • Email address
  • Home address
  • Mobile number
  • Gender identity
  • Date of birth
  • Photos, videos, and audio
  • Location (live optional)
  • HIV status (optional)

Grindr also collects a lot of information automatically, mostly relating to your device and your app usage. This kind of data includes:

  • User activity
  • Hardware information such as IP address or operating system
  • Sensor information such as orientation or motion activity
  • Cookies and other tracking activities

How does Grindr use my data?

Grindr uses your data for the same purposes as most other dating apps, such as:

  • To offer their services
  • To analyse and improve their services
  • To provide behaviour-based advertising
  • To comply with law enforcement

Read more on Grindr's privacy policy.

Delete my data from Grindr

One company owns quite a few of these companies

Data sharing is pretty widespread in the dating app market: Match Group owns a significant portion of companies in the field, such as Tinder, PlentyOfFish, OkCupid, and Match. As well as sharing with corporate partners, companies often also share personal data with advertisers who use their platform. In short, your information doesn’t just stay in one place. Here’s what you can do about it.

What can I do about my data?

It’s clear that if you use a dating app they’re likely to collect, store, and share quite a significant amount of your personal details. However, Tinder, Grindr, Hinge, and many other companies all make it clear in their Privacy Policies that users can exert their rights in a number of ways. You can request, access, and delete information that dating apps hold, and do this easily and for free through Rightly.

Remember, you have the right to access and review any and all personal data a dating app (or any company) holds about you.

How can I delete my data from dating apps?

Thanks to GDPR, you also have the right to delete or erase all personal information a company holds about you, a right also known as the ‘right to be forgotten’. We can help with this too: it’s easy and free to send a deletion request to any site of your choice. If you can't find one, let us know which companies you’d like one to be added to our list and we'll add them for you.

Still want to know more? You can find more information on how to delete your data from dating apps and do it for free here. Let us know what you think @rightlydata!