Standard relationship apps like Grindr and OkCupid share private knowledge about customers, together with their location and sexuality, with about 100 different companies, a Norwegian client group mentioned on Tuesday, because it filed a criticism about breach of privateness guidelines.
The Norwegian Shopper Council discovered that 10 extensively used Android apps that collect delicate knowledge about well being, drug use, and sexual preferences handed a few of it on to promoting and advertising companies with out clearly informing customers.
“These practices are out of control and in breach of European data protection legislation,” mentioned Finn Myrstad, director of digital coverage for the Norwegian Shopper Council.
“It is impossible for users to control this because the terms and conditions are really long and impossible to understand,” he advised the Thomson Reuters Basis.
Tech firms have come below elevated scrutiny over knowledge privateness, fuelled by 2018’s Cambridge Analytica scandal through which tens of tens of millions of Fb profiles had been harvested with out their customers’ consent.
The European Union’s Common Information Safety Regulation (GDPR), applied in 2018, closely restricts firms’ skill to course of and share private data with out customers’ consent, with hefty fines for companies that break the foundations.
The Norwegian Shopper Council filed a criticism on Tuesday towards the U.S.-based homosexual relationship app Grindr and firms receiving knowledge from it with Norway’s knowledge authority, which mentioned it was trying into whether or not they had damaged GDPR guidelines.
Grindr mentioned it rejected a few of the report’s conclusions, including that its privateness coverage was shared with all customers, who had particular person management over what data they selected to offer of their profiles.
“As the data protection landscape continues to change, our commitment to user privacy remains steadfast,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement.
The council’s examine discovered that the app, which is utilized by tens of millions globally, shares knowledge with a lot of third events concerned in promoting and profiling, a lot of which reserve the precise to move it on to others.
“Sharing location data for gay people can be risky in certain extreme circumstances,” Norway’s knowledge safety commissioner Bjorn Erik Thon, mentioned in an announcement.
“There are still some who do not want to be open about their orientation, and there are many countries in the world where being gay carries great risks.”
The examine additionally discovered that OkCupid shares data from customers’ private profiles associated to sexuality, drug use and political opinions with an analytics firm, whereas the relationship app Tinder shares location and age with advertising companies.
The Match Group, which owns OkCupid and Tinder, mentioned in an announcement that it used third occasion suppliers to help its companies however solely shared data deemed essential to function its platforms, in keeping with the relevant legal guidelines.
“Privacy is at the core of our business,” the corporate mentioned.