Grindr, Bumble and Match keep your personal data even after deletion of the account

Think dating apps erase your personal data when you delete your account? According to a recent study by Avast, it is not. Most keep them for several days, or even keep some indefinitely.

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In 2021, dating apps will be widely democratized. A large part of the population uses them and they have now become as popular as social networks. Like the latter, they require a certain amount of personal data to function correctly: gender, age, location, search… That’s a whole lot of information you need to provide to access the singles list in your area.

But, unlike social networks, dating apps are ultimately doomed to be uninstalled. You might think that all of this provided data disappears when you delete your account. Avast took an interest in the matter to find out. The firm behind the world famous antivirus discovered thata good deal of information is kept even after the application has been started.

What do dating apps do with your personal data?

For its study, Avast focused on three of the most popular dating apps: Match, Grindr and Bumble. In its privacy policy, the first specifies sharing certain data with “Limited and critical purposes, including corporate audits, analyzes and consolidated reports, to comply with applicable law and to help ensure user safety”. On the other hand, she assures us thatno commercial use is made of this data.

On Grindr’s side, things are getting more complicated. The platform has often been pinned for the poor protection it offers its users, especially in countries virulent towards the LGBT + community. What is more, it collects a large amount of data, among which HIV status and profile pictures (sometimes stripped). As of April 2020, Grindr has implemented a new privacy policy, which has reduced the storage time for messages to 48 hours, videos to 14 days and anonymous photos to 120 days. Once the account is deleted, all data is erased within 7 days.

On the same subject: Tinder, Grindr – these apps organize your meetings … but especially with advertisers

Bumble, finally, collecting “The names of users, at least one photo, date of birth, gender, type of relationship they are looking for, profession, education, if they are interested in meeting during Covid restrictions, where you live, where you were born, what occupation, zodiac, how much alcohol you use, how much smoking, what pets, what the user is looking for, whether they want children or not, religion, location political position and content of messages ”, points out Avast. The application shares this data with third-party applications for the purpose of “Research and analysis” but claims not to sell them.

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How do I remove all of my personal data from a dating app?

Emma McGowan, the researcher behind the study, sought to contact those apps. Only Match responded by redirecting it to its privacy policy. “Once you delete your account, the account is no longer visible on the service”, can we read there. “From there, we remove information that is subject to our legitimate interests, including legal obligations to retain data for litigation purposes and to work to eliminate malicious people and keep them away from our platforms. “

It is difficult to know for sure whether or not Match keeps user data after deleting the account. So it remains for the latter to make sure you have closed their account and not just hide it from other members before uninstalling the application. It will then be necessary to wait for the regulatory period before seeing his profile entirely deleted from the platform. “If a person lives […] in Europe and the United Kingdom, it is protected by the GDPR ”Emma McGowan adds, before specifying that she has the right to demand the deletion of all this data. “Some will comply without hesitation, while you may have to be ardent in defending your rights with others! “

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