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Privacy Concerns on Tinder


Mobile dating apps have become a popular means to meet potential partners. Mobile dating application such as Tinder have exploded in popularity in recent years. Most users on Tinder use/have used Facebook as their primary way to sign up. By doing this, Tinder automatically takes user information directly from Facebook, thus saving the need to authenticate the user and user details. 
In this project we aim to identify a Tinder profile on Facebook using the information that tinder obtains from Facebook. Below is the information that Tinder takes from a user when they log in for the first time.  

As shown a lot of information is requested by Tinder, and all of this actually becomes public via the app. The information taken by Tinder is as follows:
  1. Public Profile (Name, DP)
  2. Friend List (To show Mutual Friends)
  3. Relationship Status
  4. Interests
  5. Birthday (To calculate Age)
  6. Work History
  7. Education History
  9. Email Address
Before starting this project we paid little attention to these minute details which we found out are very crucial considering the online privacy of an individual.

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) on Tinder Profile

 Profile 1

Profile 2 


In this we explain how we went about finding a Tinder profile on Facebook. As shown in the pictures, we were successfully able to get PII from a tinder profile.

Initial Approach

First our aim was to check whether it is even possible to match a Tinder profile with its Facebook profile. So to achieve this we started off with a very straightforward approach, that is, we just swiped tinder profiles and looked for that profile on Facebook with whatever PII was available for that profile. Our primary way of searching for this approach was [name] + [school/occupation] and when there are mutual friends first-name was enough.
Following is the data set that we had considered.

Data Considered and Results for Manual Analysis
Profiles Searched
Male Searched
Female Searched
Total Found
Male Found
Female Found

Precision For Men = 70%
Precision For Women = 57%
Total Precision = 62.8%

 Final Approach

  •  In this we have made use of Facebook Queries that help in extract information from Facebook. The Queries can be used to extract all kinds of data and can have a number of uses. For us they proved to be the perfect fit since the queries takes in PII of a user and then outputs users matching to the query. 
    Though we have mentioned we have used queries, but as of now Facebook doesn't allow those queries to work, so we kind of reverse engineer the query process, and found out key words that Facebook uses in it's URL to process such queries. Below are some URL examples that are working perfectly fine right now (11/2017). 

FB Equivalent
Search People (M&F) by a given name
People named "Darvesh"
Search specifically Males, by a given name
Men named "Darvesh"
Search specifically Males, by a given name sect/
Women named "Lana"
Search for a Name, with a given Connection
People with friends named "Megha Verma" who are women named "Garima"
Search​ ​for​ ​a​ ​User, by their​ ​school name
Searching​ ​user friends​ ​by​ ​given​ ​User name​ ​and​ ​user’s school​ ​name
Search​ ​a​ ​Name,​ ​by likes​ ​(one​ ​or​ ​more)

Women named "Sakshi" who like pages named "Katy Perry" and pages named "Taylor Swift"
Search​ ​a​ ​Name,​ ​by likes​ ​and​ ​Schools,%20Bangalore/pages-named/students/intersect

Search​ ​a​ ​Name​ ​by Location
Search​ ​a​ ​Name​ ​by Age
Women who are 21 years old named "Garima"
Search​ ​a​ ​Name,​ ​by their​ ​job position

  Facebook Search Result For Query 7

Facebook Search Result For Query 8

Now what we did was combine the Facebook Smart Search Query feature with the PII that we were getting from Tinder and used that to identify users.

We made a Tinder Web version using an unofficial Tinder Api which we had built. In that our main goal was to Identify a Tinder user on the spot, so from the api that we had made, we were getting user data in JSON format. It is the same profile that shows up in Tinder using this data, and that data had all the PII that we needed. Further this PII was simply plugged into the Facebook Smart Queries, and the results were furthered checked manually whether a profile that we are looking for has showed up in the first 4 to 6 results.  Below are some results achieved from our Tinder Web combined with Facebook Queries.

 Tinder JSON Object Obtained Using Our Tinder Api

   Profile Matching via our Tinder Web Using PII From Tinder

    Profile Matching via our Tinder Web Using PII From Tinder  

  • Data Considered
    Total Profile180
    Profiles with PII129
    Profiles with no pii51
    Match Found115
    Not Found65
    Males Found74
    Females Found41
    Profiles Found Having PII115
    Not found but have PII14
                                  Results of Profile Matching
  •  How we improved profile matching?
    Since we are also using pages liked by a user as an input to the query, and we know that with a given name there are not very high chances that a person will also share the same pages liked list (for ex. David likes pages a, b, c, d, now if we can have more Davids, but their like list might not be a, b, c, d, they might have a, f, g, h, but being similar is less possible and also if it happens, results will be narrowed down to a few users). So we went ahead and liked top 100 pages on Faacebook, trying to increase the common interest count that Tinder shows, and then use those in our query to find a user. 
  • Instagram connected to profile?Here we found something interesting, that if you connect your Instagram account on Tinder, it will no longer remain private for a user who opens your account from Tinder. So if somebody were to open your account via Tinder, know that your account pictures won't be private anymore! 

Privacy Concerns

  • As we have shown we were able to find out a Tinder profile on Tinder with 89% accuracy (given that PII was present, and profiles with PII were about 70%) , that tell that out of 10 profiles 9 can be found.
  • Now since Tinder is a dating platform and somebody on it says that yes I am interested and willing to share my info, and yes we agree for some users this might not be an issue, but for those who think safety should matter even on a Dating App, here are a few advice that we can give:
    • Read the information that Tinder asks from Facebook when you are logging in via using it. Other method can be to sign up using your phone number (shown below). 

    • Connect Instagram only if you feel that sharing you account with everybody on Tinder is safe for you.
  • Other annoying thing that can happen if somebody finds you on Fb is that you can experience unnecessary direct messages.
You can know more about a user. Like track their location, etc. Example given below:

    Presentation and Team



  1. All images used are produced by us. 


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