Warning: *Privacy Not Included with this product


Review date: March 15, 2024


Mozilla says

People voted: Very creepy

Founded in 2010, Scruff is an independent, LGBTQ+ owned app targeting guys who are looking for friends, dates, hookups, local events, and more. It's free to sign up for Scruff and use most of its features -- like sending a "woof," matching, and chatting with other users from around the world. Aside from the more standard dating app stuff, users can get travel advice from locals with Scruff Venture and find queer parties and festivals with Scruff Events. With Scruff Pro, you can use advanced sorting and search functions, browse anonymously, send and receive videos, and more. Unlike some other LGTBQ+ apps aimed at men-seeking-men, Scruff says they will never share your data with third-party ad networks or data aggregators. So is Scruff really among the safest and most secure dating apps out there, like they say? Well, they are certainly better than Grindr, but that's not saying much.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Scruff is... not up to snuff when it comes to privacy. Questionable security, a track record that needs improving, and the fact that not all users are guaranteed the right to delete their data adds up to us giving this guy-focused app our *Privacy Not Included warning label.

On the security front, we can't confirm whether Scruff meets our Minimum Security Standards. It's not clear whether the app uses encryption at rest and in transit to protect all those spicy messages users send. That's worrisome because it makes all your personal information way more vulnerable to a hack or breach. And oh boy, there is a lot of personal information that can be collected by Scruff. There's the basics, like your name, email, and address. Then there's your profile information which can include your "height, weight, occupation, education, physical characteristics or description, gender identity, preferred pronouns, HIV status and other health details, ethnicity, personal interests, relationships and preferences" and more. You should also know that their privacy policy says just providing that data counts as "explicitly consenting to [their] processing of [it]". OK. And here's a couple more things we think Scruff's parent company really wants you to know -- since they're written all-caps. One is that "INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DISTANCE FROM OTHER USERS IS PUBLIC" and the other is a warning to "NOT INCLUDE INFORMATION IN YOUR PROFILE AND OTHERWISE PROVIDE INFORMATION WHEN USING THE SERVICE THAT YOU WANT TO KEEP PRIVATE". This is a good reminder that you you should never consider your profile information or location to be private.

Like most dating apps, Scruff also collects data about what you do in the app and your messages to other users. Scruff does go a little farther than most though since they say they can collect personal information from third parties an publicly accessible sources. Boo. Oh and Scruff can create inferences "reflecting your preferences, characteristics, predispositions, behavior and attitudes" based on that data. What does Scruff do with all that data? The good news is that they don't sell or share it in ways that raises major flags for us. They can use it for their own ads on the service and other websites though, as most apps do these days. Another thing Scruff does as way too many apps do: they don't give all users the right to delete their data. That's disappointing. We here at *Privacy Not Included firmly believe all users, not just those who are lucky enough to live under strong privacy laws, should have the right to get their data deleted.

Our last bone to pick with Scruff is pretty disturbing. A lawsuit filed in 2023 claims that Scruff didn't do enough to stop child sexual abuse committed by two men who met on the app. We should also mention, on the topic of safety, that though Scruff Venture encourages you to use the app while traveling, using dating apps away from home may come with risks that could be worse for gay men.

What could go wrong with Scruff from a privacy perspective? Subpar security standards means your DMs could be leaked. Then everyone would find out you send super boring intro messages... at 2 a.m. no less. How embarrassing to reckon with a sea of unanswered "Hi"s! But more seriously, your health-related information (like your weight or HIV status) that you want to share with prospects but definitely not with your boss, could be exposed for the whole wide web to see.

Tips to protect yourself

- Visit the app's privacy preferences at the app and opt out from personalized advertising as well as all non-essential data collection.
- Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data nor does close your account.
- Do not give consent to constant geolocation tracking by the app. Better provide geolocation 'only when using the app'.
- Do not share sensitive data through the app.
- Do not give access to your photos and video or camera.
- Do not log in using third-party accounts.
- Do not connect to any third party via the app, or at least make sure that a third party employs decent privacy practices.
- Do not give consent for sharing of personal data for marketing and advertisement.
- Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc.
- Do not use social media plug-ins.
- Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless necessary).
- Keep your app regularly updated.
- Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization).
- When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.

  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information


Device: N/A

App: Yes


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?

Privacy policy

"While you may voluntarily provide us with sensitive information about yourself such as your gender identity, ethnicity, personal interests, relationships and preferences, health details and whether part of the POZ (HIV positive) community (for example, in creating or updating your profile), there is no requirement to do so. Where you choose to provide us with such sensitive information, you are explicitly consenting to our processing of your information."

"We ask for your consent to access your geographic location information. If you allow such access, we collect your geographic location to determine your distance from other users through GPS, Wi-Fi and/or cellular technology in your device. You may change such access to geographic location information via the settings on your device. Your last known geographic location can be stored for the purpose of calculating your distance from other users. If you do not allow such access, you may not be able to use all portions or all functionality of the Service. Prior to your installation of the Service, we may have already collected information about the other apps or services that you have used via our service providers, third parties and/or other parties.

We automatically collect certain information that is generated through your use of the Service, including information about the profiles that you have viewed, the products and services you have purchased or considered purchasing through the Service and how you communicate with other users.

We can automatically collect such information via use cookies, Web beacons, persistent device identifiers, advertising identifiers and other technologies. Please see Cookies and Other Technologies; Do Not Track below."

"We can collect information about you from:
publicly accessible sources;
users; and
our service providers, third parties and/or other parties"

"We can use the information that we collect from and about you to conduct our business and for any of the purposes described in this Privacy Policy, subject to applicable law. Examples are as follows. <...>

For Marketing and Advertising. For marketing and advertising, such as to send you marketing and advertising communications and to show you marketing and advertising on the Service. For example, an advertiser can engage Perry Street directly to present you with an advertisement on the Service. We can also run advertising on other websites, applications and services via our advertising display partners."

"Distance Information. YOU UNDERSTAND THAT WHEN YOU USE THE SERVICE, AS A DEFAULT, INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR DISTANCE FROM OTHER USERS IS PUBLIC AND OTHER USERS OF SUCH SERVICE CAN SEE THIS INFORMATION WITHIN YOUR PROFILE. Service users can use the search feature in the Service to search for other users by distance. Information about your distance from other users will be used for these searches. This information is public, but the Service may include a feature to hide or change the accuracy of this information. However, even if you choose to hide the display of this information, sophisticated users who use the Service in an unauthorized manner may nevertheless be able to determine your geographic location. Please see Information We Collect above."

"Geographic Location Information. The geographic location of a user of the Service, as well as other information relating to the use of the Service (such as age and ethnicity) can be disclosed to other users and service providers, third parties and/or other parties. The geographic location of a user of the Service can be used to determine which services, disclosures, features, content and information will be available to you and certain services, disclosures, features and content and information made available through the Service may only be available to users in certain geographic locations."

"Service Provider, Third Party and/or Other Party Promotions. We can disclose your information with service providers, third parties and/or other parties to conduct promotions."

Anonymized Information. We can disclose anonymized information relating to visitors to and users of the Service with any service provider, third party and/or other party for any purpose, subject to applicable law.

"Advertising Identifiers. Advertising identifiers are unique strings associated with your device provided by the operating system. Advertising identifiers can be modified or disabled by users in the operating system settings. Please see Do Not Track below for more information about how to configure these settings."

"We take administrative, technical and physical measures to help protect the information you provide through, or in connection with, the Service from accidental or unlawful destruction, loss or alteration and from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. Please be aware, however, that no security measures can guarantee absolute security. No Internet, email or application transmission or method of electronic storage is ever fully secure or error free. Email or other communications, including without limitation, those sent through, or in connection with, the Service, may not be secure. You should use caution whenever submitting information through, or in connection with, the Service, and take special care in deciding which information you provide us with."

Privacy notice for CA Residents

"We do not sell your personal information, and in the preceding twelve (12) months, we have not sold personal information, under the CCPA.

We do not knowingly sell the personal information of consumers under 16 years of age."

"We have disclosed personal information for business purposes in the preceding twelve (12) months as described in How We Can Use Your Information and How We Can Disclose Your Information in our Privacy Policy. Any of the categories of personal information listed in Information We Collect, How We Can Use Your Information, How We Can Disclose Your Information and Cookies and Other Technologies; Do Not Track in our Privacy Policy may have been disclosed for business purposes in the preceding twelve (12) months."

How can you control your data?

We cannot confirm if all users, regardless of location, can get their data deleted.

Privacy policy

"You have choices regarding your information on the Service.

Changing Your Information and Privacy Settings. You can make changes to your information, including accessing your information, correcting or updating your information or deleting your information, by editing your profile in the Service or by requesting deletion of your personal information by submitting a support request at for users of the SCRUFF App, at for users of the Jack’d App, at for users of the BKDR website, or contact customer service from within any of our other services or products.

Email Communications. When you receive promotional email communications from us, you can indicate a preference to stop receiving promotional email communications from us by following the “unsubscribe” instructions in a promotional email communication from us. However, we can send you email communications relating to the Service.

Push Notifications. You can at any time request opt out from further allowing us to send you push notifications by adjusting the permissions in your device.

Withdrawing Consent. You can withdraw your consent to our processing of your personal information at any time by contacting us at for users of the SCRUFF App, at for users of the Jack’d App, at for users of the BKDR website, or contact customer service from within any of our other services or products.

Cookies and Other Technologies; Do Not Track. Please see Cookies and Other Technologies; Do Not Track above.

Retention. Please see Retention below.

California Rights. Please see Your Rights-California Rights below.

Europe Rights. Please see Your Rights-Europe Rights, Your Rights-Processing and Your Rights-Cross-Border Transfers below.

Korea Rights. Please see Your Rights-Korea below."

"1. Europe Rights. The following rights apply in certain circumstances only to individuals in the European Economic Area, United Kingdom and Switzerland (collectively referred to herein as “Europe”).
To request deletion of your personal information on one of the following grounds, please visit for users of the SCRUFF App, for users of the Jack’d App, at for users of the BKDR website, or contact customer service from within any of our other services or products."

We will retain your personal information for as long as reasonably necessary for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy, while we have a legitimate business need to do so in connection with your registered account, or as required by law (for example, for legal, tax, accounting or other purposes), whichever is the longer.

If you have elected to receive email communications from us, we retain information about your email preferences until you opt out of receiving these email communications and in accordance with our policies.

To determine the appropriate retention period for the categories of your personal information, we will consider the amount, nature, and type of the personal information, the potential risk of harm from unauthorized use or disclosure of your personal information, the purposes for which we use your personal information and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements. In certain circumstances, we can anonymize your personal information, subject to applicable law."

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

Needs Improvement

Lowcountry (US) mother sued Scruff over child's sexual abuse.

Can this product be used offline?


User-friendly privacy information?


Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information



Can’t Determine

We can not determine if this product has encryption at rest and in transit.

Strong password


Security updates


Manages vulnerabilities

Can’t Determine

You can submit a vulnerability here:

Privacy policy


Does the product use AI? information

Can’t Determine

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?

Can’t Determine

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine

*Privacy Not Included

Dive Deeper

  • Dating app data breaches put LGBTQ people at risk worldwide, report says
    The Georgia Straight Link opens in a new tab
  • Scruff gay dating app bans underwear photos
    BBC Link opens in a new tab
  • Lowcountry mother suing Telegram, Scruff over child's sexual abuse
    ABC News Link opens in a new tab


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