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July 3, 2018

Tinder is making it safer than ever for you to keep swiping

by John_A

In case you were concerned, Tinder has now finally encrypted the photos you send on the popular dating app. In a letter to Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Tinder’s parent company Match Group announced that it had implemented changes to ensure that photos sent between Tinder’s servers and the mobile app are now encrypted. This actually become effective back in February, following a report from security firm Checkmarx that showed that Tinder did not have basic HTTPS encryption for its photos.

So, um, this is pretty weird. Apparently Senator Wyden just got Tinder to properly encrypt your swipe data, so you can all get it on in private. pic.twitter.com/BniAVUi77Q

— Matthew Green (@matthew_d_green) June 29, 2018

What did that mean, exactly? Basically, if you were on the same Wi-Fi network as a Tinder user, you (assuming you were a trained security researcher or hacker) would be able to see any photo the user did, or insert your own images into his or her photo stream. Curiously enough, it was only the photos that were not HTTPS-encrypted — other data maintained this basic security protocol. However, the app as a whole was still unsecured enough that a hacker sharing a Wi-Fi network would be able to see all swipes and matches.

But now, all that has changed. Photos were encrypted beginning June 4, and more recently, the app introduced another security feature that makes all swipe data the same size. This makes it more difficult to differentiate among actions taken on the app (swiping, messaging, etc). That change was implemented more recently on June 19.

“I want to assure you that protecting the private data of our users is a top priority,” the Match Group wrote in its letter to Wyden. “We take the security and privacy of our users seriously and employ a network of tools and systems to protect the integrity of our platform, including encryption.”

We should point out, of course, that none of the above will really affect you in any capacity. Your Tinder profile won’t look any different, nor will your experience feel dissimilar from what you are accustomed to. That said, you can rest assured that nefarious actors should not be able to see your profile pictures. But please note — if there are nefarious actors using the dating app as fellow users, they are still fair game.

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