Dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid share user information like dating choices, interest, Smoking, Drug consumption and precise location to advertising tech companies in possible violation of European data privacy laws, a Norwegian consumer Council said in a report Tuesday.
The council is a nonprofit group that works for user privacy laws, commissioned cybersecurity company Mnemonic to study 10 Android mobile apps. They found that these dating apps sent user data to more than 120 different third-party advertising agencies involved in advertising or behavioral profiling.
OkCupid app sent a user’s ethnicity, behavior and answers to personal profile questions — like “Have you used psychedelic drugs?” – to an advertising firm that helps drug companies.
“The condition is out of control,” the council said, asking European regulators, to enforce the continent’s strict General Data Privacy Regulation, or GDPR. It said the majority of the apps did not have any legal mechanism for data sharing.
“A smartphone user has an average number of apps on their phone — anywhere between 40 and 80 apps — and data have been shared to thousands of, apps,” said Finn Myrstad, the digital policy director for the Norwegian Consumer Council.
In a statement by the owner of OkCupid and Tinder, said it worked with companies that assist with providing services and shared only specific user data deemed necessary for those services.