Ten popular apps, including dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid and Grindr, have been found sharing people’s personal information. According to a new study, these apps have been found sharing data with dozens of digital marketing and ad tech companies without users’ knowledge. The only way for many users to protect their information is for them to have never installed the apps at all. The study conducted by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) said in its report. The apps tested include the dating apps Grindr, Happn, OkCupid, and Tinder.

Check how Tinder and other apps shared user data

Other apps tested by NCC include the period tracker apps Clue and MyDays; the makeup app Perfect; the religious app Muslim: Qibla Finder; the children’s app My Talking Tom 2; and the keyboard app Wave Keyboard. According to a report by ZDNet on Wednesday, the study took into consideration the activity of 10 popular apps during the period June to November 2019. The goal was to identify how personal data is transmitted from these apps to commercial third parties.

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The apps were chosen for the study as they were the most popular apps on Google Play at the time. The apps were chosen in “certain categories where sensitive category personal data were deemed likely to be processed, such as data about health, religion, children, and sexual preferences”. The NCC also noted that only the Android versions of these apps were tested. The Norwegian Consumer Council further explained that this was due to Android being the largest mobile operating system worldwide, in addition to Google being a key player in the ad tech industry, the report added.

This is not the first time that we have seen popular apps misuse personal information of their users. Even Facebook was found to be exploited by various app developers on the network to scrape user information. It is not clear whether Google will take any action against these apps for such practice. We might see these apps stop sharing personal information basis this report.

(Written with IANS inputs)

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