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Apple & Google Pulled Three Dating Apps After The FTC Found Children Were Using Them

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Apple and Google removed three dating apps from their stores for allowing kids as young as 12 to access them. The apps in question — Meet24, FastMeet, and Meet4U — are operated by Wildec, a Ukraine-based company. The apps collected users’ birthdates, email addresses, photographs, and real-time location data, the FTC reported. Although each app’s privacy policy claimed to block users who indicated they were under 13, none of the apps actually did so. Instead, young children were able to use the app and be contacted by other people. The FTC did send each of the apps a warning letter, stating that allowing adult users to communicate with children “poses a serious health and safety risk.” In addition, the letter noted that “several individuals have reportedly faced criminal charges for allegedly contacting or attempting to contact minors using Wildec’s apps.” Most alarmingly, the FTC’s letter noted that Wildec seemed to be...

May 7, 2019

Tinder Is Launching a New Product Built Around Music Festivals

Tinder — the online-dating app — has had its share of updates looking to attract younger users. Now the company is trying to makes it way into the music festival market. Its latest update, Festival Mode, helps people find other festival attendees in their area. The feature allows people to name which upcoming festival they will be attending through badges and match with other people who plan on attending. This helps people find a group before stepping foot on festival grounds. So far, Festival Mode is only available for EDC Las Vegas, Hangout Music Fest, All Points East Governors Ball, Parklife, Bonnaroo, Firefly, and a list of other U.K.- based festivals. But who knows, it may expand to popular festivals like Afropunk The Roots Picnic, and Broccoli City Fest. Users get access to the badges about three weeks prior to each event. People who use Tinder’s Festival Mode will also have the chance to get access to exclusive VIP upgrades, swag, and more. Festival Mode is pretty similar to...

May 6, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day! If You're on This Dating App Your Information Was Probably Stolen

Good afternoon and happy Valentine’s Day! If you’re looking to hop on dating apps to find the love of your life today, you should probably chill for a bit. This morning, Coffee Meets Bagel–a popular dating app–announced a data breach to its users via email. It’s not clear how many accounts were impacted and the company says hackers only gained information from users who were on the app before May 2018. Only users’ names and emails were compromised. Financial information or passwords weren’t hacked since the company doesn’t store those details on its users. In an awkwardly timed announcement, the company didn’t go into extreme detail about the particulars of the breach, but it did lay out a plan to protect its users’ information moving forward and said it will seek the efforts of “forensic security experts” to take a look at the nuts and bolts of the company’s infrastructure. It’s also monitoring for more suspicious activity on the platform. Pro tip: Coffee Meets Bagel should send...

Feb 14, 2019

A Chinese Gay Dating App Is Halting Registration After Reports Of Underage Users Contracting HIV

Chinese gay dating app, Blued, has stopped registration for new users for a week after underage users contracted HIV from dates set up through the app, according to reporting by Caixin Global. In September, China reported a 14 percent increase in the number of HIV cases in the country, with 40,000 new cases being reported by the second quarter of the year. Blued, the largest networking app for the LGBTQ community, has been cracking down on underage users and is using artificial intelligence to rid the platform of pornography. “Blued always forbids juveniles from logging on and using the app,” Blued said in a statement on its Weibo account. According to Caixin, Blued’s lack of age verification methods made it easy for underage users to create profiles on the app. Blued currently has 40 million users worldwide, and is also the owner of another popular gay dating app, Grindr.

Jan 9, 2019