Badoo

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Badoo

Bumble, Inc
Wi-Fi

Review date: Feb. 12, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Super creepy

Available in 190 countries and 47 languages, Badoo is the world's most used dating app. Launched in 2006, Badoo now has nearly half a billion users, the majority found in Europe. Targeted at teens and young adults, this dating and hookup app requires users to verify their identity by logging in with a social media account like Facebook or by linking it directly to their phone number. It also required photo verification to use most features. Free users get access to most of the app's features like location-based matches, messaging, and seeing who visited your profile. Badoo even has a free "Lookalike" feature that allows users to upload a picture of their celebrity crush. Badoo then uses facial recognition AI to find people who look like that crush. Top celebrity crush searches included Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, and Donald Trump. Uhm.....really?

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Badoo's privacy policy states, "While we take reasonable precautions against possible security breaches of our website, member database and records no website or internet transmission is completely secure and we cannot guarantee that unauthorised access, hacking, data loss, or other breaches will never occur." This is a good reminder that, even though Badoo doesn't seem to have some of the terrible data and privacy protection practices of some other dating apps, they still ask you to give up a ton of personal information and don't guarantee that personal information will be protected. We also noticed their strong password game is pretty weak. We tried to log in with 12345. The app told us this is a very common password and asked us to add a letter. Upon adding only one lower case letter, we were in. Those aren't the worst password requirements we've ever seen. They aren't great either. Finally, Badoo asks users to connect their accounts to Facebook. If you do that they can then collect a ton of information on you, including your email, name, profile picture, date of birth, a list of your friends who also use the app, pages you have liked, location and photos. You may also show up on your friends’ Facebook apps as a Badoo user. Remember, when you connect a social media account like Facebook to Badoo, both Facebook and the Badoo now potentially collect more information together. That's why we recommend users don't link your dating app to Facebook. What's the worst that could happen on Badoo? Well, if you use a weak password to sign in and your buddy figures that password out they could say tell Badoo your celebrity crush lookalike is Donald Trump and then you could be shown matches for people who look like Donald Trump over and over on the app.

mobile Privacy warning Security warning A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Badoo's Privacy Policy, last updated in August 2020, claims that Badoo does not sell user data and has not done so in the previous 12 months. However, it is unclear whether the company has sold data prior to Aug 2019 or since Aug 2020. The company shares demographic and location information to serve targeted advertisements to users. Badoo uses non-personal data for analytics purposes.

How can you control your data?

Users can request to access and delete their data by emailing [email protected]

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

There are no known data breaches in the past two years. Badoo allegedly had a massive data breach in 2013.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

The privacy policy language is relatively user-friendly. However, their privacy policy isn't totally clear on how they are sharing your data.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

No

Encryption

Can’t Determine

We were unable to determine if Badoo encrypts all relevant user data.

Strong password

No

We tried 12345 and then the app prompted us that this is a very common password and asked us to add a letter. Upon adding only one lower case letter, it allowed us to proceed.

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Badoo participates in a bug bounty program: https://hackerone.com/badoo/policy_versions?type=team&change=3647768

Privacy policy

Yes

Badoo states the following in its Privacy Policy: "While we take reasonable precautions against possible security breaches of our website, member database and records no website or internet transmission is completely secure and we cannot guarantee that unauthorised access, hacking, data loss, or other breaches will never occur"

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

Badoo uses facial recognition to suggest a partner that may look like a celebrity crush.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

No

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine

*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • Badoo Uses Facial Recognition to Match You With Celeb Lookalikes
    PC Magazine
  • This Dating App’s Lookalikes Feature Is Actually Super Creepy
    Gizmodo
  • Love in the time of algorithms: would you let artificial intelligence choose your partner?
    The Conversation
  • Dating Apps Will Be Better Matchmakers Thanks to AI, but will They Be Safer?
    Hacker Moon
  • How Much Personal Data Can Dating Apps Access From Your Smartphone?
    Observer

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