Runkeeper in hot water over sharing background data with US advertisers


The company behind Runkeeper, the popular fitness tracking application, is under fire overseas due to some questionable business practices. According to a complaint by the Norwegian Consumer Council, Runkeeper has been transmitting user data to servers — a major US advertiser, no less — even after the app and device have been idle for 48 hours, something that’s a clear violation of European data protection laws.

This is a big no, no in most parts of the world and we have already seen the likes of Tinder get pulled from local app stores due to similar complaints. In addition to sending data while the app is no longer in use, Runkeeper “also request unreasonably wide-ranging permissions compared with the access actually needed to deliver the service.” While Runkeeper is at the center of this complaint, there are other applications included for allegedly violating the privacy of its users.

These proceedings are still in their infancy, so it’s difficult to tell where this will go from here. From the sounds of it, Runkeeper might be in the clear given its parent company “has no European subsidiaries,” but it’s still pretty shady.

We’ll be sure to keep an eye on this one because this could set a precedent for other app developers in the future.

[via ArsTechnica]


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