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Tinder, Grindr Accused Of Illegal Data Sharing

Gringr Image by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

It has been advised that everyone should always be careful of the information that is shared on social media, especially, personal information.

This warning is valid as it has been reported by a Norwegian consumer rights group on Tuesday that popular dating apps like Tinder and Grindr are sharing the personal data of their users to third parties in breach of EU regulations.

In a recent post by AFP, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) details how Grindr, which markets itself as the “world’s largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people,” shares the GPS data, IP addresses, ages and genders of its users with a multitude of third-party companies to help them improve advert targeting.

According to the government-funded non-profit organisation, the sharing of this data implicitly discloses users’ sexual orientations.

The report, titled “Out of Control”, examines the collection and use of personal data by 10 popular apps and concludes that the advertising industry is “systematically breaking the law”.

In the words of Austrian activist Schrems:

“Every time you open an app like Grindr, advertisement networks get your GPS location, device identifiers and even the fact that you use a gay dating app, this is an insane violation of users’ EU privacy rights.”

The dating app Tinder is also accused of sharing user data with at least 45 companies owned by the Match Group, which operates a dating website of the same name.

The report also criticised other applications, such as Qibla Finder, which orients Muslims towards Mecca for prayer; Clue and MyDays used for monitoring fertility periods; and the children’s app My Talking Tom 2.

According to the report:

“Consumers have no meaningful ways to resist or otherwise protect themselves from the effects of profiling (including) different forms of discrimination and exclusion.”

The NCC lodged complaints against Grindr and five of its partners with Norway’s data protection agency.
Grindr, which is owned by Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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