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Dating app Grindr shares personal data with ad tech services in violation of EU data protection law, complaint alleges

Author: Natasha Singer and Aaron Krolik, The New York Times, Published on: 20 January 2020

"Grindr and OkCupid Spread Personal Details, Study Says", 13 Jan 2020

Popular dating services like Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder are spreading user information like dating choices and precise location to advertising and marketing companies in ways that may violate privacy laws, according to a new report that examined some of the world’s most downloaded Android apps...

The report, “Out of Control: How Consumers Are Exploited by the Online Advertising Industry,” adds to a growing body of research exposing a vast ecosystem of companies that freely track hundreds of millions of people and peddle their personal information...

The Norwegian group said it filed complaints on Tuesday asking regulators in Oslo to investigate Grindr and five ad tech companies for possible violations of the European data protection law. A coalition of consumer groups in the United States said it sent letters to American regulators...

Match Group, which owns OkCupid and Tinder, said it worked with outside companies to assist with providing services and shared only specific user data deemed necessary for those services. Match added that it complied with privacy laws and had strict contracts with vendors to ensure the security of users’ personal data...

Grindr said it had not received a copy of the report and could not comment specifically on the content. Grindr added that it valued users’ privacy, had put safeguards in place to protect their personal information and described its data practices — and users’ privacy options — in its privacy policy...

The spread of users’ location and other sensitive information could present particular risks to people who use Grindr in countries [...] where consensual same-sex sexual acts are illegal...

[also refers to and includes comments from Twitter and AT&T.]

Read the full post here

Related companies: AT&T Grindr Match Group OkCupid Tinder (part of Match Group/IAC) Twitter