Tinder, OkCupid and other apps are accused of sharing customer information with hundreds of advertisers. The Norwegian Consumer Council has issued a report that outlines how the dating apps are using sensitive personal information. Dating apps are sharing personal user data such as drug habits, political views and users’ sexual orientation to third parties.
“It is impossible for users to control this because the terms and conditions are really long and impossible to understand.”Finn Myrstad
Digital Policy Director, Norwegian Consumer Council
After downloading the apps, users are asked to join the platforms. They are directed to the “join” sign which has a notice above stating that by pressing “join” they are agreeing to the companies’ terms and conditions. However, the Norwegian Consumer Council report notes that no in-app settings related to advertising and privacy exist. The Director of Digital Policy for the Norwegian Consumer Council explains “It is impossible for users to control this because the terms and conditions are really long and impossible to understand.” Privacy policies do not explicitly state where personal information is being sent. For example, OkCupid shares answers to questions that are used for compatibility tests. The answer to a question such as “do you use drugs?” would be shared with pharmaceutical companies.
Match Group also shares information between the platforms it owns. WAYA reached out to Harmonica for a comment with no response. Harmonica, Egypt’s popular dating app, was acquired by Match Group in 2019. Match Group released a press release stating “When it comes to sharing information with our service providers, we only share the specific information deemed necessary to operate our platform, in line with the applicable laws including GDPR and CCPA.”
Match Group owns and operates a network of dating sites including OkCupid and Tinder. These have huge amounts of downloads; OkCupid has 10 million downloads worldwide and Tinder has over 100 million.
For editorial tips and leads get in contact with us.
If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section.