Russia orders Tinder to turn over user data | News | DW | 03.06.2019
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Russia orders Tinder to turn over user data

Personal user data from the popular dating app Tinder can now be monitored by Russian intelligence agencies after it was added to a special data storage register. Tinder could be banned in Russia if it fails to comply.

Russia's communications regulator said Monday that the popular Tinder dating app will be required to provide user data on demand to the country's intelligence agencies, including the FSB security service, successor to the KGB. 

The move from Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecoms and media regulatory body, added Tinder to a growing list of online services operating in Russia that are required to provide user data.

Read more: Moscow protesters rally against Russia's 'online Iron Curtain'

Roskomnadzor said in a statement that Tinder was added to its special register at the end of last month after providing the required information to allow itself to be added. Tinder has yet to provide comment. 

Tinder is now required to store text, voice and visual data on servers operating inside Russia for at least six months. Tinder could be blocked in Russia if it fails to comply.

Read more: Russia's parliament votes to unplug internet from world

Tinder profiles can contain sensitive information about users' sexual preferences, as users swipe left or right to attract potential dates.

The data rule applied to Tinder covers any user's data that uses Russian servers, including messages to other people on the app.

Widespread online surveillance 

Russia's increased regulation of the internet has drawn criticism from some opposition politicians and sparked protest. Russian authorities have said the data surveillance rules are in place to protect against extremism. 

Read more: Opinion: The 'Russian internet' is Soviet-era oppression

The data register includes 175 online services including Russia's biggest bank Sberbank and the Russian social media service VKontakte.

The social network LinkedIn refused to comply with regulations requiring that personal data on Russian citizens be stored on servers within Russia. In 2016, a Russian court ordered that LinkedIn be blocked. 

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wmr/jm (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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