Tindont: Tinder’’s privacy brought into question


Tinder, the infamous dating app, can only be accessed once the app has access to the user’s Facebook account.

According to Tinder’s privacy policy, that gives the app access to each person’s Facebook profile, and all the data that comes with that: photos, location, statuses.

Tinder says it can also store this data.

But as David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, alarmingly points out: “Research recently found that 63 per cent of consumers neglect to read the license agreement carefully before installing a new app on their phone and one-in-five (20 per cent) never read messages when installing apps. This means an alarming number of consumers are leaving their privacy – and the data on their phones – exposed to cyber-threats because they are not installing apps on their devices safely.”

>See also: Threesome app 3nder claims Tinder has ordered it to cease operations

Today, Marc Tarabella, a Belgian politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP), said the app does not appropriately warn users of what data it is able to access.

“Once you subscribe, the company can do whatever it wants with your data. It can show them, distribute them to whomever or even modify them,” he said.

His chief concern with Tinder is its “lack of transparency”.

These implications – account modification and lack of transparency – is distressing, but also might mean Tinder is susceptible to the new, hardened, EU GDPR.

Under stricter guidelines associated penalties for non-compliance can result in fines of up to 4% of an organisation’s annual world group turnover, or up to €20 million.

“Regulators do not like the idea of a company doing whatever it wants with your information just because it is in that company’s privacy policy…The new European data protection law, which will apply in May 2018, will “make it much harder for companies to get consent this way,”  said Peter Church, a technology expert from law firm Linklaters.

>See also: University of Salford matches students with courses using Tinder-style app

But it is not just Tinder, and many other similar application – happen, bumble, double to name a few – might be guilty of infringing new EU regulation, on top of abusing the content entrusted to them.

“It has become commonplace that apps request unlimited access to our photos, location, microphone and whole host of other irrelevant features,” David Emm suggest, “which in turn provide enough data for nefarious individuals/apps to gather information on us as individuals”.

Consumers have a number of options to protect themselves

Only download apps from trusted sources.

Select the apps you wish to install on your device wisely.

Read the license agreement carefully during the installation process.

Read the list of permissions an app is requesting carefully.

Use a cyber security solution that will protect your device from cyber-threats.

Perhaps, tough new EU regulation will increase the transparency of these apps, or at the very least make the user aware of exactly what they’re signing up for.

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Data Breach