Journalists have uncovered that users of a popular German dating app are able to track the movement and location of others on the app, even down to where users live and work.
Public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk reported that a team of journalists were able to determine the location of users to within 30 and 50 meters (98 to 164 feet) using a simple geometric measurement method. The report has prompted concerns for users’ safety and fears that it could be used to stalk targets without their knowledge.
When combined with other information such as gender, sexual orientation and pictures available on the app, a person would be able to accurately track the location of users, Bayerischer Rundfunk said.
Lovoo also has a radar function that allows users of the app to see who is in the vicinity.
Company plays down possible danger
The company responded that it had no indication that users had been located or harmed.
“To protect our users’ data, we use a variety of technical and organizational measures,” it said. “Only imprecise coordinates and distances” would be sent by the user in order to prevent their exact location from being known, the company claimed.
Lovoo said its user profiles did not include sexual orientation.
Nearly six million people have downloaded the app, according to Lovoo.