What Do Dating Apps Know About You?

    Online dating apps are extensively popular. They are simple to install on any device and can be accessed at any time from any location. They are fun and interesting and give great hope to those who look for their perfect match. What happens, though, when someone downloads an online dating app to their smartphone?

    Datingroo comparison site conducted a study of data access for dating apps such as identity, pictures, contacts, or network access on their cell phones. Research suggested that users permit a lot of personal data on their cell phones. When they install one of the investigated dating apps, these apps have access to the precise location, other accounts on their device, network connections, alteration or deletion of the contents on their USB storage, and much more. 

    Most popular dating apps by Datingroo comparison site  

    Most Access App

    Badoo and Plenty of Fish are the only online dating applications that have access to most data on users’ gadgets (92%). Given that these two platforms are the most popular online dating services globally, with over 522 million users combined, this data access supplies them with a vast quantity of personal information. 

    Least Access App

    Coffee Meets Bagel has the minimum data access. Also, it has the lowest number of users among all tested dating platforms (7 Million users). 

    Other Apps

    OkCupid, which has 50 million users globally, is at the bottom of the list when it comes to mobile access data. Tinder, Loovo, eHarmony, and Zoosk, among other popular dating apps, have similar amounts of access to data on a user’s device.

    More findings

    All the tested online dating apps have access permission to read the files of a user’s USB storage and 90% of them are allowed to change or remove the contents of the USB storage. Badoo, surprisingly, isn’t one of them. 

    80% of tested apps can view the user’s Wi-Fi connections. 30% of them can connect and disconnect from Wi-Fi. Badoo is the only one that can access the Wi-Fi Multicast reception that means the app is allowed to receive packets sent on a Wi-Fi network. 80% of the tested online dating apps have access to an approximate location of the user. Only eHarmony, EliteSingles, and Coffee Meets Bagel do not have access to the precise, GPS and network-based user location.

    Only Badoo of all the tested apps has access to the user’s SMS data. This app is allowed to send, receive, and read SMS. All of the tested online dating apps have access to full network access and can prevent the device from sleeping. 

    The major finding of the study

    Even though the main objective of an online dating app is to connect users than to safeguard them from cybercrime, hackers can simply acquire information by peeking into the device directly through the app. The study of data access for dating apps suggests that when users download an online dating app, they are automatically granting permission to apps to access a large amount of personal data. Many app users are unaware of these permissions or how they could be abused.

    Image by Solen Feyissa

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