Four Tinder plaintiffs drop out of lawsuit because Match might have quietly changed their contracts

Four Tinder plaintiffs — Rosette Pambakian, Joshua Metz, Jonathan Badeen, and James Kim — are voluntarily withdrawing from their Match Group / IAC lawsuit today, claiming the company covertly tried to enact an arbitration agreement during their employment. All four plaintiffs worked at Tinder, which Match Group owns, up until they filed the lawsuit. At that point, Match / IAC placed them on administrative leave. They all seemingly signed the arbitration agreement.

In a comment to The Verge, Pambakian said:

“Just months after cheating Tinder employees out of billions of dollars, IAC / Match tried changing its policies in an attempt to force all current employees out of a public courtroom before a jury and into secret arbitration. IAC / Match did this only after carrying out their scheme. Let me be very clear: IAC / Match will be held accountable and we will continue to support the lawsuit 100% as it unfolds in New York state court.”

Match spokesperson Justine Sacco did not comment on the allegation that the plaintiffs were made to sign an arbitration agreement.

The team’s lawyers wouldn’t comment on whether their withdrawal is permanent, but because it’s “without prejudice,” they could theoretically rejoin. The team also declined to comment as to whether or why Pambakian and the others signed the agreement. An arbitration agreement is a contract clause that prevents employees from taking legal concerns to court.

Instead, they have to settle them privately with their employer. It’s unclear why these plaintiffs would voluntarily sign an arbitration agreement, especially if they had been planning a lawsuit. Most likely, the plaintiffs didn’t read their new contract closely or even realize what it said.

Match / IAC filed a motion immediately after this lawsuit’s filing earlier this month requesting a change of venue from a state court to a federal one. They withdrew that motion, but buried in it was a mention of this arbitration agreement and the company’s plans to possibly enforce it. The case is still set to be tried in the New York Supreme Court. Ultimately, this plaintiff change doesn’t really affect the lawsuit. Tinder co-founder Sean Rad can still argue his case that Match purposely undervalued Tinder in an effort to avoid paying out lots of money in share options.

Instapaper returns for EU users post-GDPR with new premium subscription option

Instapaper is returning for users in member states of the European Union after a two-month service blackout now that the read-it-later app says it is compliant with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Instapaper originally shut off service for EU users back in May, just days before the far-reaching privacy law went into effect. GDPR established stricter rules around data collection and user consent, and its complexity had many companies scrambling to ensure they were not found in violation ahead of the May 25th deadline.

“Over the past two months we have taken a number of actions to address the General Data Protection Regulation, and we are happy to announce our return to the European Union,” reads a blog post from Brian Donohue and Rodion Gusev, who now run Instapaper independently after they split from parent company Pinterest last month.

They say they’ve updated Instapaper’s privacy policy, though it remains unclear at the moment why it took so long to become GDPR-compliant. Donohue and Gusev say they’re posing the privacy policy to GitHub “in the interest of transparency” where any interested user can view a versioned history of all the changes to it.

Instapaper is also announcing today that it’s relaunching its premium subscription as a way to sustain the business now that it’s no longer a part of Pinterest. You can pay $3 a month or $30 a year for features like full-text search, unlimited notes, an ad-free web experience, and a “send to Kindle” bookmarklet tool. To make up for the two-month service outage for EU users, Donohue and Gusev say all affected users can claim a complimentary six-month subscription to Instapaper Premium.