News & Opinion | June 4, 2019 4:30 pm

Russia Wants Tinder to Hand Over User Data

The dating app is facing demands to hand over users' messages and photos

tinder
Swipe-based dating apps like Tinder may have a new AI-based competitor very soon.
Thomas Trutschel/Photothek/Getty

Russia is about to have a lot of good selfies and bad pick-up lines on its hands.

Authorities in the country have demanded that Tinder hand over data from Russian users, BBC reported. Thanks to new Russian laws, the dating app has been told it must comply with requests to provide messages and photos of users in the country.

The new regulation leaves Tinder among 175 companies that are now required to store their data on Russian servers for six months. The law requires these apps and websites to provide user data on demand to intelligence servers like the FSB internal security service.

Tinder has reportedly “registered to be compliant” with the new regulation, but has maintained that the company has not yet shared any data with the government, adding that “this registration in no way shares any user or personal data with any Russian regulatory bodies.”

Meanwhile, companies that refuse to comply, like private messaging app Telegram, risk being blocked in Russia. After the Russian government blocked the app last year, Telegram founder Pavel Durov argued that the action was unconstitutional, but the FSB claimed the app had been used by a suicide bomber in a fatal attack on an underground train in St. Petersburg.

The regulation is part of recent action by the Russian government to gain control over the internet in what authorities say are attempts to prevent terrorism and cyber attacks. Last month, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a new “sovereign internet” bill into law, which enables Russian authorities to separate the country’s internet from the rest of the world.

Critics of these moves have accused the government of cracking down on the internet in an attempt to increase censorship and stifle dissent.

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