Russia Demands Tinder Hand Over User Data, As Crackdown On Social Media Continues

tinder and dangers of online dating
The dating app Tinder is shown on an Apple iPhone in this photo illustration taken February 10, 2016 (Mike Blake/Illustration/Reuters)

If you're in Russia, Big Brother might be watching you the next time you swipe right.

On Monday, the Russian government put the dating app Tinder on its list of entities who must turn over data to security agencies, such as the Federal Security Service (FSB), which is the successor of the Soviet Union's infamous KGB.

Tinder is a popular dating mobile app where people looking for dates swipe left or right on the profiles of other users in order to indicate their romantic preferences. If Tinder doesn't comply with the Russian government, it could be blocked in Russia, the Associated Press reported.

Other companies on the list include VKontakte, a major Russian social network site similar to Facebook.

The Russian government is looking to greater control the data of foreign companies who operate in its territory and root out extremists online. Critics believe the country is beginning to become more like China, where major social networks such as Facebook are blocked.

In November 2018, Reuters reported that Russia could impose fines on tech companies that don't comply with Russian laws. Russian telecommunications regulator Roscomnazdor has accused foreign firms Facebook and Google of breaking Russian laws. The professional networking website Linkedin was blocked in Russia in 2016 because it was unwilling to store Russian user data on Russian territory.

The human rights watchdog Freedom House says that Russia is "not free" in regards to internet freedom as of 2018. The organization says that Russia censors content online regarding LGBT issues, the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and political material that opposes the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin.

This article was first published in IBTimes US. Permission required for reproduction.

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