Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Review date: 02/07/2021
Raya has a reputation as a secret, exclusive club for members only. Basically, it wants you to think it's where all the cool kids are. To join, it seems users must get invited by someone already on the app and fill out an application that includes your Instagram account (you've got to have at least thousands of followers), your contacts, and your education level. That application is reviewed by a committee and an "evolving" algorithm to determine if you make it into the club. Launched in 2015, and rumored to be a celebrity dating app, Raya has since expanded to include a professional networking function for people in the entertainment world. Anyone can apply for membership to Raya, although according to Wikipedia, the acceptance rate is reportedly only about eight percent. Oh, and Raya can only be accessed through the app and is for iOS users only, Android users need not apply.
What could happen if something goes wrong
Being a super secret, "celebrity" dating app means that Raya claims to make users' privacy and confidentiality a top priority. The application process people who want to join Raya must go through sounds a bit invasive as a committee digs into your contacts, Instagram, education, and more to see if you're cool enough to join the club. Once invited to join though, does Raya do a good job of protecting their users' privacy? It's a little hard for us to tell, they are super secret after all. They don't sell any user data they collect, which is a good thing. They do share aggregated, anonymized data with third parties like investors for business purposes, which isn't too uncommon, although we do like to warn that often this data isn't too hard do de-anonymize. As we're not part of the club and they didn't respond to our emails, we couldn't tell if they require a strong password to protect the app, if they use encryptions on chats and messages within the app, or what sorts of data their "evolving algorithm" might use to evaluate applications. What could happen if something goes wrong? Hard to tell. We suppose you could get accepted into the Raya club, end up have a weird chat with Pete Davidson, and have no proof because Raya really frowns on screenshots within the app.
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
From what we can gather, you need all three for your application. Phone number for verification, email and Instagram account.
What data does it collect?
Names (required), email address (required), gender (required), date of birth (required), Instagram handle (required), phone contacts (required?), photos (required), city of residence (optional?), hometown (optional?), song selection (optional), preferences for recommendations and connections (optional), content of messages (required), and any other personal information provided as part of the application or profile (optional). Unknown whether it collects data on ethnicity.
Raya collects from users’ Instagram accounts their username, profile picture, biography, website, list of followers, list of people a user follows and the number of pictures. This is meant to help verification of identity and evaluate user’s “real-world connection to … existing members”
How does it use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record for protecting users’ data?
No known incidents in the last two years.
Can this product be used offline?
User friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
We were unable to determine if they use encryption to protect users' personal information, chats, photos, and more.