At least 70,000 photos of women scraped from profiles in the Tinder dating app are circulating on a cybercrime forum, Gizmodo (opens in new tab) reported today (Jan. 16).
The photos were reportedly spotted by Aaron DeVera, a security researcher with the firm White Ops, who told Gizmodo the images were associated with a text file containing about 16,000 Tinder user IDs. That may indicate the total number of Tinder users compromised.
However, we're not sure what kind of advice to give you about this. Normally, we'd advise affected users to change their account passwords, but Tinder wouldn't tell Gizmodo whether it planned to notify the affected users.
There's also the question of whether this constitutes a breach of privacy, or a data breach at all. Because the images are already on Tinder, they're already public — they've just never been available to view all at once before.
And while scraping all those images from Tinder is certainly a violation of Tinder's terms of service, it's not certain whether it constitutes theft, or anything illegal.
There's no indication as of yet that real names are associated with the images, although it wouldn't be hard to build up that kind of data rapidly with the user IDs, or by using an image-matching algorithm.
Speaking of such an algorithm, Gizmodo speculated that the images could be used to train facial-recognition software, as has apparently happened before (opens in new tab).
So while this is definitely creepy, it may not in fact be dangerous. Just be aware that when you put your photos up on Tinder or any other online-dating service, they may not stay confined there forever.