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Dating apps on Android: which are the most data-hungry

Dating apps on Android can collect data on sexual orientation, political and religious beliefs, race, ethnicity, and sometimes even more sensitive data, such as purchases and location. This data is often shared with third parties, research by Incogni has discovered.

Incogni investigated the nine most popular dating apps on the Google Play Store.

Among the analyzed apps, Facebook collected the most data at 37 data points. Those include contacts, calendars, files and docs, voice recordings, videos and photos, SMS and emails, fitness and health info, credit score, sexual orientation, and political and religious beliefs.

Incogni noted that Facebook dating is only available through the Facebook app, meaning that some data that the app discloses collecting and sharing might not be strictly relevant to its dating functionality.

Bumble was next, with 27 data points collected, followed by Hinge (21 data points), Plenty of Fish (21 data points), and Tinder (20 data points).

Dating apps

Cybernews has already reported on which apps collect the most data on Apple’s App Store. Grindr and Bumble came at the top, and you can check the detailed results here.

The least data-hungry dating app on Android was Feels – dating & friends. It collects only 3 data points.

“Six out of the nine investigated apps shared user location with third parties,” Incogni found. “Almost a third of all collected data points are shared with third parties.”

On average, dating apps beam seven data points to third parties. Tinder was found to be “the most generous,” sharing half of the data it collects, meaning a whopping ten data points reach third parties.

Tied for second place were Hinge, Plenty of Fish, and BLK Dating, with nine data points shared by each.

Coffee Meets Bagel and Feels claims not to share any data points.

Bumble shares the most sensitive data types, including purchase history. Many apps share approximate user locations.

Google Play requires developers to disclose the reasons for sharing this data. Many dating apps disclosed sharing data for fraud prevention and account management (58%), which is reasonable. However, users may want to watch out for the data these apps share for other purposes like marketing. Advertising and marketing was the second-most cited purpose (28% of all purposes).

“It’s important for users to exercise their best judgment when it comes to sharing optional data with dating apps and the strangers they encounter there,” Incogni said.

The full report can be found here.

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