Tinder announced they are adding a few changes to its app to make it more inclusive, allowing users to add more information about their sexual orientation and gender identity.
Just as the dating app announced its partnership with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD to create these profile fields, a disturbing report came out of Russia.
A press release from Roskomnadzor, the agency behind the ORI database, the Register of Information Organization, announced that the Russian government added Tinder to that database.
It contains a number of apps and online services that, under Russian laws 97-FZ and 374-FZ, those apps and services are legally required to hand over user data to the Russian police and intelligence agencies to aid in investigations.
Legally, once added to then ORI database, apps like Tinder have to hand over user data and even private messages to Russian investigators when they ask, even if they can’t provide a court order.
Roskomsvoboda, an NGO that tries to protect the digital rights of Internet users in Russia, says that Tinder is the fourth dating service in the ORI database, joining Mamba, Wamba and Badoo’s platforms. According to Roskomsvoboda, the Russian authorities have already contacted Tinder to obtain user data.
The NGO pointed out that, despite those above laws, the platforms added to ORI have no legal obligation to comply to the Russian government’s request, though, if they don’t, they can be banned or fined in Russia.
A similar incident happened last year when the instant messaging service Telegram refused to hand over user data to Russia’s FSB intelligence agency.
After a few months of legal struggle, Telegram was eventually banned in Russia.