The Tinder dating app has denied sharing the personal data of its Russian users amid reports that it had been added to a registry of entities required to hand over such data to the authorities.
Russia said on Monday it had added Tinder to a list of entities required to hand over user data and messages to law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Security Service (FSB) on demand. The move means that Tinder will be required to store users' metadata on servers inside Russia for at least six months as well as their text, audio or video messages.
Tinder has agreed to be added to the Russian government’s database of information providers to comply with federal legislation, an unnamed spokesperson told Russia’s Kommersant business daily on Tuesday.
“However, this registration does not in any way imply the passing of any user or personal data to any Russian regulatory authority,” the Tinder spokesperson was quoted as saying by Kommersant.
“We have not relayed any data to the Russian government,” they added.
Tinder, owned by Match Group, allows users to "swipe left" and "swipe right" in their search for suitable dating partners and has millions of users around the world.
Many popular homegrown email, messaging and social media websites are already on the Russian register, including Russia's Vkontakte, and the authorities are starting to turn their attention to foreign services too.
Russia tried and failed to block access to the Telegram messenger service after it refused to comply with a similar order to give state security access to its users' secret messages.
Reuters contributed reporting to this article.