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Dating apps are haemorrhaging user data, report says

Europe’s most popular dating apps are leaking the personal data of their users to advertisers, according to one consumer group.

The Norwegian Consumer Council claims it found “serious privacy infringements” pertaining to how the major dating apps handle the data of smartphone users vis-a-vis European data privacy laws.

The government funded organisation found that 135 different third-parties received data from the dating apps installed by users running the Android operating system.

Those apps are seemingly bypassing the EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) rules and, according to the council, the majority of apps aren’t giving users the option to consent via the correct mechanisms.

“The situation is completely out of control,” the council said, while reaching out to the EU to intervene.

The Grindr app was the greatest offender, according to the Norwegian Consumer Council’s findings, with GPS location, age and gender sent to the third-party companies, according to the Associated Press report on Tuesday.

Grindr hasn’t commented on the report, but Twitter has responded by disabling Grindr from its MoPub ad-serving account in order “to understand the sufficiency of Grindr’s consent mechanism.”

Finn Myrstad, the digital policy director for the Norwegian Consumer Council said: “Any consumer with an average number of apps on their phone — anywhere between 40 and 80 apps — will have their data shared with hundreds or perhaps thousands of actors online.”

In the European Union, companies are prohibited from collecting personal information their users, pertaining to sex life, sexual orientation, religion and ethnicity. According to the Norwegians, the apps in question are falling well short.

Would you stop using dating apps if you believed your data was being shared with advertisers? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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