How much of your personal data do online networks keep?

Have you ever wondered how much of your personal data you voluntarily offer to online networks with a disregard for your personal privacy? We have all been guilty of taking the easy option to log into an online platform using our Facebook or Gmail accounts, but what information are we actually offering?

A recent article in the Guardian newspaper by Judith Duportail covered this exact question. Judith uses the dating app Tinder and requested to know exactly what data the company had on her: 800 pages about Judith alone. There are currently more than 50 million Tinder users, so it is safe to say that the overall amount of data held by the app is substantial.

The data included exactly how many times Judith used the app as well as her every interaction, including matches and messages. What may be more alarming to people who casually use such applications was the amount of associated data that did not actually refer to Tinder-specific interactions, such as a list of Facebook ‘likes’ and Instagram posts even after the account was deleted. The data also included locations, interests, jobs, music tastes and pictures.

A study in July 2017 showed that people are giving an excessive amount of information to dating platforms without realising. Tinder uses the data to better match people with similar interests, but the scope of the data collected far exceeds this in order to monetise the app. Tinder’s privacy policy clearly states your data may be used to deliver “targeted advertising”.

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May 2018, natural persons will have better control over the data an organisation can hold on them.


EU GDPR Pocket Guide

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