I asked Tinder for my information. I got 800 pages of my darkest desires

Judith Duportale, a Guardian journalist, decided to check how much information we provide about ourselves through the applications we use on a daily basis. That’s why she wrote to Tinder, and what awaited her, read the text …

At 21.24, on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, from the second floor in a Paris hotel, I wrote the first “sorry” to my first connection to Tinder. Since then, I entered the application 920 times and merged with 870 different people. Some of them I remember very well: those who became my lovers, friends or horrible first meetings. I forgot everything else, but Tinder was not.

The application’s app has 800 pages of information related to me, and may have it related to you, if you are one of their 50 million users. In March, I wrote to Tinder to give me access to my personal information. We can all demand this, but few of them actually do, according to Tinder.

Some of these 800 pages returned with information about my Facebook likes, photos from Instagram (even when I deleted my order), my education, data on the age of men I’m interested in, where and when I talked to people I’m connected to … the list continues.

“I’m horrified, but I’m not surprised by this amount of data,” said Olivier Kis, a data scientist at the University of Washington. “Every application you regularly use on your phone has the same kind of information. Facebook has thousands of pages about you! ”

As I walked through the pages filled with my data, I felt guilty. I was amazed at the amount of information I gave voluntarily: from location, interest and work to images, musical taste and what I like to eat. But I soon realized that I was not the only one. A study in July 2017 revealed that Tindera users are happy to send information about themselves, even if they do not even understand it.

“Your mom gives you all this information,” says Luk Stark, sociologist of digital technologies at Darmut University. “Applications like Tinder take as their advantage a simple emotional emotional phenomenon; we can not feel the podcast, and that’s why it hits us when we see it on paper. We are physical creatures, we need material. ”

Reading all 1,700 Tinder messages I sent since 2013, I went through my hopes, fears, sexual desires and deepest secrets. Tinder knows me so well. He knows the real, bitter and ugly version of me – the one who sent ridiculous jokes, which corresponded with sixteen different people at the same time of the New Year, and who then ignored them. ”

Alessandro Acquisti, professor of information technology at Carnegie Melon, told the Guardian University that “Tinder knows much more about us as he watches our behavior in the application. We know how often we interact, at what time, the percentage of white, black men and the Asian with whom you have merged, what kind of people you are interested in, what words you use most. Personal data is a fuel economy. Consumer data is shared to make products easier to advertise. “