This is how you can see the scary amount of information that Tinder has about you

This is how you can see the scary amount of information that Tinder has about you

There's a reason our private lives are called our private lives. The kinds of things you discuss with your significant other are probably very different to the stuff you talk about with your work colleagues, and, for most people, I'm sure there's some information that is best kept exclusive within certain social circles.

Why is it, then, that we give certain information away so freely on apps and social media sites? I mean, how many of us can honestly say we've read all the terms and conditions, before allowing some sketchy-looking game to access our personal profiles, friends lists, and date of birth? I know I can't.

Until now, though, I was unaware of exactly how much data this entitles certain companies to access.

Judith Duportail, a French journalist, recently discovered that Tinder had a whopping 800 pages of information on her. This included details such as her age, gender, personal interests, pages she'd 'liked' on Facebook, people she'd matched with, where she'd accessed the app, and even where she had lived over the several years that she'd been using the popular dating platform.

But why does Tinder need all of that stuff? Surely my deleted Instagram selfies or stolen icebreakers are irrelevant to an app which only shows potential matches based on their proximity to me? Nope.

See, the thing is, Tinder might not care about how often I hit people up while sitting in McDonald's at 2am, but other fast food companies certainly do. And, as Tinder's privacy policy clearly states, any personal information disclosed on the app can potentially be used to deliver "targeted advertising", and that users "should not expect that [their] personal information, chats or other communications will always remain secure".

As Alessandro Acquisti, a professor of information technology, explains: "Personal data is the fuel of the economy. Consumers’ data is being traded and transacted for the purpose of advertising."

However, it is still legally your data, so if you're curious about the kind of dirt Tinder knows about you, all you have to do is ask them.

According to Tinder's privacy policy, '"If you have a Tinder account, you have the ability to review and update your personal information within the Service by opening your account and going to settings." So you can change the information you've provided, but what happens to the data you've already given them?

The privacy policy goes on to say:

"Applicable privacy laws may allow you the right to access and/or request the correction of errors or omissions in your personal information that is in our custody or under our control. Our Privacy Officer will assist you with the access request." 

So fear not, because there is a way you can see what Tinder has on you. If you're a European or British citizen, you have the right to access your personal data, and all it takes is an email. Just fire off a message to requesting a clear list of all the information you want, and make sure the subject line is 'Subject Access Request'.

Tinder will have up to 40 days to respond to your request, but in the meantime, be careful what you disclose online.