What are the flaws in the dating app

Big data protection flaws in dating apps!

By Michael Sonntag | February 22, 2018, 12:17 p.m.

Dating apps know more about their users than some close friends. But many apps do not protect this information. On the contrary: some providers share the most intimate details with advertising networks.

Dating apps are a double-edged sword. If you want to find a suitable partner for yourself through this, you have to feed the search algorithm with a lot of private information for an optimal result. In addition to the name and age, this can also include more intimate details such as place of residence and sexual orientation.

A current test by Stiftung Warentest (“test”, issue 3/2018) showed that of 44 apps examined for Android and iOS, only 4 were able to achieve acceptable results. The remaining dating apps failed mainly because of their inadequate data protection, which not only offers little discretion, but even enables companies to sell the data on to third parties.

Recognize love scammers in online dating

Trade in intimate details

The main point of criticism of the product testers is the vague formulation of the data protection declarations of many providers. This often does not make it clear how much data is actually being recorded and what exactly is happening with it. The formulations also often have legal deficiencies. In addition to the data entered, most apps also save all messages exchanged, locations as well as information about the device and mobile operator.

The apps then sell this data to advertising networks, Facebook and other companies. These companies, referred to as “third parties” in the terms of protection, then use them to design personalized advertisements. This means, for example, that in case of doubt, your smiling profile picture will be used online to draw attention to the dating app. So an involuntary mascot.

This is how dating portals lure with fake profiles

The apps Badoo, Bildkontakte, Bumble, C-Date, eDarling, Elite Partner, Grindr, Happn, Jaumo, Joyce, KissNoFrog, Lesarion, Lovescout24, Lovoo, MeetMe, Neu.de, Once, Parship, Romeo, Tinder were tested , Twoo and Zoosk.

Stiftung Warentest only rated image contacts for iOS and eDarling, Lovescout24 and Neu.de for Android as acceptable. The fact that there is no direct test winner should indicate that there is a need for improvement with these apps as well. Nevertheless, they have sufficient data protection.

Numerous dangers for love seekers

Dating app users don't just have to be careful about sharing their data. In addition, many providers also use so-called fake profiles, as determined by the Bavarian Consumer Center for 187 portals. If the companies do not hire private individuals specifically for this, even their own employees can manage the fake profiles.

Their sole purpose is to recruit new users or to bring back those who cancel. There will be no way to meet with these no matter what they say. Their existence and their use are described in the terms and conditions as "moderated profiles". Caution should also be exercised with some confusing subscription rules. If you don't cancel in time, your trial subscription can suddenly become an expensive annual subscription.

Your data security when using the share function