Tinder and Grindr charged with illegal sharing of personal data

According to a Norwegian agency, the two dating apps, along with eight others, share personal data with third-party companies.

Popular applications like the Tinder and Grindr dating services share personal data with third-party companies, including users' sexual orientation in the case of Grindr, in violation of European regulations, denounced Tuesday the Norwegian Council of consumers. Grindr, who claims to be “the world's largest dating network for gay, bi, trans and queer people” , shares GPS data, IP address, Internet age and gender of users with a multitude of actors thus able to better target advertisements.

Sharing these data also implicitly betrays the sexual orientation of users, notes the Consumers' Council at l origin of a report. This one, entitled “Out of control”, examines the collection and use of personal data by ten applications and concludes that “the advertising industry systematically breaks the law”.

“Insane violation of rights”

“Whenever you open an app like Grindr, advertising actors receive your GPS data, the identifiers of the device (used to connect, editor's note) and even the fact that you are using a gay dating ppli “, denounces Austrian activist Max Schrems. “This is an insane violation of European privacy rights for users” , he said in a press release from the Consumers Council, an independent body benefiting from public funds.

Tinder and OkCupid are also pinned for sharing their users' data with each other and with at least 45 companies belonging to their owner Match Group, site operator of the same name. Other applications such as Qibla Finder (which provides Muslims with the direction of Mecca), Clue and MyDays (monitoring of fertility periods) or even that for children My Talking Tom 2 are also pointed out.

Online profiling

“Twenty months after the entry into force of the GDPR (general data protection regulation implemented in the EU in May 2018, editor's note), consumers are always amply monitored and subject to online profiling , and have no way of knowing which entities process their data and how to stop it, “deplores the Consumers Council.

The organization, which believes that such practices could lead to cases of discrimination or manipulation, focused complaint against Grindr and five of its partners to the Norwegian Data Protection Agency. Owned by Chinese Beijing Kunlun, Grindr did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The group said it was unable to report to the New York Times to comment on a report of which he has not received a copy.

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