The dating apps are reportedly sharing detailed personal user data, including location, age, gender, sexual orientation, interests, habits, and behaviour with online advertising and marketing companies.
Grindr, a geosocial dating app for “gay, bi, trans, and queer people”, as well as apps Tinder and OkCupid, are sharing personal user information with online advertisement networks, according to a research report published on Tuesday by the Norwegian Consumer Council.
The report said that personal data, including user location, age, gender, sexual orientation, interests, habits, and behaviour, is mainly used by third parties to profile users and show targeted ads, but may also lead to “discrimination, manipulation and exploitation”.
The report noted that the Norwegian Consumer Council is currently filing formal complaints to the Norwegian Data Protection Agency against the dating app and five third-party companies who received personal user information via Grindr, including Twitter`s MoPub, AT&T’s AppNexus, OpenX, AdColony and Smaato, for breach of data protection regulations.
The report stated that there are very few ways for consumers to limit or prevent “this massive commercial surveillance” and personal data sharing across the internet.
The Norwegian Consumer Council also urged online marketing and advertising companies to look for alternative solutions, while calling on authorities to take “active enforcement measures” to protect consumer against such illegal “exploitation of personal data”.