Match Group's Twoo fined in Belgium for GDPR breach

20 May 2010 10:05 am by Cynthia Kroet

Twoo, a Match Group-owned, Belgian-based platform, has been fined 50,000 euros in Belgium for breaching the EU's data-protection rules. Match Group operates several well-known dating applications including Tinder, Hinge and OKCupid.

The national data-protection authority announced the fine yesterday without naming the company at fault, referring to it only as a “global social network.”

But an earlier version of the decision, obtained by MLex before being redacted, named Idriss Kechida as the sanctioned company’s data-protection officer. He is Match Group’s DPO, suggesting that one of the group’s platforms was targeted by the fine.

A spokesperson for the platform's owner, Massive Media, which is part of Match Group, told MLex that the company "strongly disagrees" with the decision to fine the platform.

The Belgian authority said the company had collected and processed personal data through the "invite contacts" function, without a valid legal basis under the General Data Protection Regulation.

But according to the platform, the collection of users’ consent is "fully complied with GDPR’s stringent consent requirements."

"Features allowing users to invite their friends are widely used across Internet services and our discontinued feature followed industry best practices. Transparency and protecting our users' personal data is of utmost importance to us," the spokesperson said.

The watchdog said the fine was imposed in cooperation with 23 European data-protection authorities from 16 different countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland, Latvia, Italy, Norway, Hungary, Austria, Spain, France, Cyprus, Slovakia, Denmark and Slovenia.

Match Group and its platforms have been subject to other complaints and allegations around the world. In January, a Norwegian consumer group accused the company of systematically sharing intimate personal information with advertisers without having obtained the proper consent from users, as part of a broader examination of consumer apps.

This prompted European watchdogs to join forces and boost their scrutiny of how consumer-focused apps send data to the advertising technology industry.

Since then, data-protection authorities in Denmark, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland have told MLex that they will cooperate with their peers in scrutinizing alleged abuses involving lifestyle apps and adtech companies. Many others received requests from consumer groups to look into this issue.

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