PSA: Runkeeper is tracking your every move, transfers user data to a third-party advertiser

PSA: Runkeeper is tracking your every move, transfers user data to a third-party advertiser
As a fitness-tracking app, Runkeeper's main purpose is to track its users in an attempt to provide them with detailed stats regarding their run, walk, or other fitness activities. However, while the app is supposed to turn off its tracking mechanisms when the training or activity is over, it turns out that this is not the case.

As recently discovered by the Norwegian Consumer Council, Runkeeper is tracking the location of its users even when the app is not active. Worse still, the same agency has also discovered that this data is then transferred by FitnessKeeper, the developer behind RunKeeper, to a third party US-based advertiser named

This past Friday, the Norwegian Consumer Council filed a formal complaint against FitnessKeeper for breaching the EU's data protection laws. In a statement issued to Ars Technica, Finn Myrstad, the agency's digital policy director has stated:

Unfortunately, FitnesKeeper has no European subsidiaries, being a US-based company. As such, the NCC will probably be unable to impose any serious sanctions. On the upside, now that it has been brought to public attention that Runkeeper is continuously tracking users, smartphone owners might make a conscious decision to stop using the app.

As if secretly tracking its users and selling off this data to a third-party advertiser wasn't bad enough, the NCC has also discovered that the Runkeeper app also engages in other unfair practices, such as an ambiguous definition of "personal data", the self-assumed right to update the privacy policy without prior notice, or the fact that the app doesn't delete personal information when a user account is terminated.

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In closing, we'd like to mention that Runkeeper isn't the only app that the NCC has found to engage in unfair practices. Tinder, the popular dating app, has already been reported to the Norwegian authorities for privacy breaches.

source: Ars Technica

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