Facebook made the decision to stop third-party apps from accessing user data — such as friend lists and liked pages — in 2014 and gave most apps until May 2015 to comply to the new policy, . Some apps, however, received “whitelist” privileges to continue accessing the data. Tinder was one of them.
According to a leaked March 2015 email exchange, Tinder was given special permissions under the condition that the app permit Facebook to share rights in Tinder’s trademark of “MOMENTS.” Other dating apps, such as Bumble, Hinge, and Coffee Meets Bagel, were also whitelisted; one reason given was “because they are getting high profile.”
The same month, the Facebook CEO declined to meet Tinder cofounder Rad. “No on wanting to meet the Tinder guy. I don’t think he’s that relevant. He probably just wants to make sure we won’t turn off their API, which we will adjust as part of our changes, and since we can’t talk about that the conversation will be awkward,” Zuckerberg said.
The documents shed light on how Facebook hoarded and doled out user data before the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Last year, when Facebook made post-scandal damage control and changed its data policy once again.