Facebook’s New Privacy Rules Crashed Tinder App

Tinder
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Tinder crashed for several hours on April 4th after Facebook implemented new privacy and security restrictions, frustrating and confusing millions using the dating app.

Facebook has been facing increased scrutiny from the U.S. government after discovering major security breaches of its members’ personal information by third parties. Most recently, Facebook faced serious accusations after it was discovered that prominent research firm Cambridge Analytica stole Facebook user information from about 87 million users, including information about their political beliefs, without their knowledge or consent.

Facebook has since taken action to correct course, implementing more restrictions on its third party advertisers and partners to limit the amount of information they can access. Facebook previously allowed apps like Tinder to request user data automatically, but now that isn’t the case. Unfortunately for Tinder, this meant its users faced login errors and weren’t able to access the app at all.

Tinder requires users to sign up with their Facebook accounts in order to verify information, as well as to link their Facebook information with their Tinder profiles. Each time users log in to access their matches, they are also subject to Facebook privacy policies.

In addition, Facebook’s new policies restrict third party access to certain Facebook user information. According to an article in WIRED Magazine, sensitive information from individual users such as religious or political views, relationship status and details, custom friends lists, education, and work history are no longer available to research firms or advertisers. These restrictions could severely impact the ease with which people sign up and use dating apps like Tinder in the long run unless a permanent fix is made, because the algorithms for these apps rely on such personal information for successful matching.

Tinder says it has fixed the current login problem in a statement the company issued later that day: "A technical issue prevented some users from accessing our service earlier today. We found a resolution and quickly resumed service. We ask our users to ensure that they have updated the app and are running the most recent version.”

However, Tinder has not yet disclosed which new Facebook policies caused the crash, or what they did to address the issues.

In addition to updating the latest version of the app, concerned users can also delete their old Tinder account and sign up again using their phone numbers instead of Facebook. However, customers should be aware that this means they will lose all previous messages and matches.

Not all popular dating apps were affected by the new policies. Users were able to login to Hinge and OkCupid without issue.