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Pixabay (Public Domain)
Tinder could be barred from Russia if it refuses.
The Russian government is now requiring the dating app Tinder to hand over users’ private information to the country’s intelligence services.
The nation’s communications regulator announced Monday that Tinder had been added to a list of services available in Russia that are required to divulge user data upon request.
The list, known as the Register of Information Dissemination Organizations, includes more than 175 other online services that are subject to data requests from agencies such as the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet Union’s infamous KGB.
While Tinder as an American company is free to refuse, such a refusal puts the dating service at risk of being barred from Russia.
At current it remains unclear just whose information is at risk. While the AP notes that any content traveling through Russian servers is up for grabs, requests related to national security purposes can also be made, suggesting that foreign users could be targeted as well.
The Daily Dot reached out to Tinder for clarification but did not receive a reply prior to publication.
The addition of Tinder to Russia’s data request list raises concerns that any information gathered could be used by the nation for nefarious purposes, including blackmail.
But Tinder is not the first dating app to catch the attention of Russia’s intelligence services. Mamba, Wamba, and the country’s most popular dating app, Badoo, are already on the list, the Moscow Times reports.
The popular Russian messaging app Telegram famously refused to hand over user data to the FSB and was subsequently banned from the country. In an effort to stop its citizens from using the app, the Russian government inadvertently blocked thousands of unrelated websites.
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the Russian government claimed Tinder has already complied by handing over user data. The Daily Dot has not been able to corroborate that statement, so it has been deleted.
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Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.