News article

Date: 04. October 2016

Mobile Apps and Data Security Laws
Dating Apps – What They Can Do with Your Smartphone

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA 04.10.2016 – New dating apps for casual flirting or even finding love appear on the market every single day. These apps require “access permissions” which can grant access to malware, stalkers and phishing attempts. Not many users know this, however.

The reviewers at have examined 13 well-known Android dating apps in Australia with regards to their potential risks. Among them were Tinder, Badoo, Zoosk, Skout, Lovoo Elite Singles and eHarmony.

The focus concentrates on all access permissions which the app requires be granted for use. These include in-app purchases, access to contacts, photos, data and the user’s location.

The Invisible Dangers Hiding in Dating Apps

Very few dating app users know that when they download an app, they’re basically exposed in digital security terms. This is what the most important results of our analyses show:

  • All dating apps tested can immediately access photos and other data on one’s smartphone.
  • 80% of tested apps also collect data regarding the location of smartphones, therefore allowing them to create a comprehensive map of where users have been as well as whether they live, work and what hobbies they have.
  • 15% of apps under investigation also grant access to SMS contacts – not only reading the users’ text messages, but also without their knowledge.

"One scenario would be that unauthorised SMS orders are being made via your smartphone. And then you have, for example, a year’s subscription for special cat food that you haven’t ordered",

Dirk Pflitsch of warns.

When it comes to safety, dating apps from traditional matchmaking sites like eHarmony are probably the best because they smallest number of required access permissions.

AU Diagram
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Complete Study: