Happn brands itself in Apple App Store and Google Play as «100 percent safe and confidential», and guarantees not to share data or user identity with other parties. Unfortunately the dating app does not live up to its promises:
“happn commits never to share your details with any other member or with any third party. Your e-mail address and your real identity are strictly confidential and will never be disclosed by happn. “
A technical analysis performed by the research institution SINTEF on behalf of the Consumer Council shows that key user data is shared frequently with the tracking firm UpSight. Information from users’ Facebook accounts, such as name, age, workplace and gender are also shared when using the app.
With more than 10 million users, the French app Happn promises in their terms that users can delete their own account and that the service deletes user data when this happens. Unfortunately this is not the case.
The technical test shows that Happn does not delete all cookies when the app is uninstalled. The result is that users cannot permanently remove the app or delete information about themselves.
– Happn’s efforts to make the terms user friendly is of little account, as long as they do not live up to what they promise, says Finn Myrstad.
Apps should up their game
During this winter, the Consumer Council will perform similar app tests checking how consumer rights and privacy specifics are handled, and will submit an overall report before Easter.
– The purpose of our app campaign is not to scare the users, but raise awareness of what consumers are agreeing to online. We also want to put pressure on apps to apply more consumer friendly solutions, concluded Finn Myrstad.
– We will ask Data Protection Authorities in both Norway and France to look into to this case as soon as possible.