What is the weakness of Bumble

Tinder and Co .: Most dating apps do not adequately protect user data

Those looking for their second half online often entrust apps with very personal information. But as a current evaluation by Stiftung Warentest shows, providers rarely value data protection and transparency.

Stiftung Warentest examined dating apps from 22 free providers. The data transmission behavior of the iOS and Android apps of the services, as well as the associated data protection declaration, came under the microscope. The result should be viewed critically, as Spiegel Online reports that most of them would reveal too much.

Only a few providers protect their users' data

As far as data transmission behavior is concerned, the testers found "significant weaknesses" in at least one of the two app versions in 20 of the 22 services. Only five of them, including a single one for iOS, protect data adequately The testers examined the introductory services from November to January with the sole focus on data protection. The following apps were tested: Badoo, Bildkontakte, Bumble, C-Date, eDarling, Elite Partner, Grindr, Happn, Jaumo, Joyce, KissNoFrog , Lesarion, Lovescout24, Lovoo, MeetMe, Neu.de, Once, Parship, Romeo, Tinder, Twoo and Zoosk.

Too much personal information such as sexual orientation, age and place of residence would reveal the dating sites. The location display could also become a threat to the user in hostile countries, especially in applications such as Grindr or Lesarion, which are aimed at a homosexual audience.

Unnecessary data is sent to “third parties” for advertising purposes

Stiftung Warentest also notes that the majority of apps would send data that are not necessary for their operation, including the device identification number of the smartphone and the name of the mobile phone provider. This applies to both app versions at Tinder, Grindr, Badoo and ElitePartner, for example. At eDarling, Lovescout24 and Neu.de this only applies to the iOS app. Only with Bildkontakte and KissNoFrog would no "unnecessary data" be sent via the app.

Numerous providers reserve the right to share this information with "third parties", i.e. large advertising companies such as Facebook. Coupled with a device ID of the smartphone, user profiles can be created afterwards and marketed for personalized advertising. This should also be the case with Grindr: Here, the iOS app would send the gender and age of the user to advertising companies. Meanwhile, Facebook receives the name of the mobile operator and usage statistics for the app from Grindr. As the Stiftung Warentest writes, the iOS app from Lovoo and both app versions from Tinder would also reveal the name of the mobile operator to Facebook, for example. At Tinder it is also said that the iOS app transmits device information to a US marketing company. However, it remains unclear who receives what information and to what extent.

Too inaccurate information about the use of the data collected

However, the results in the second test area, an analysis of the data protection declarations, do not put the dating apps market in a good light either. For none of the 22 services did the testers from Stiftung Warentest come to the conclusion that the information about how the collected data is used and passed on is "accurate". The testers particularly criticized the Grindr, Happn and Romeo apps for that the data protection declaration is only in English.

Stiftung Warentest emphasizes that those interested in online dating should never forget that everything they post publicly on their profile can be seen and shared not only by other users, but also by the app provider.