Consumers’ association: new Runkeeper privacy policy is unclear

The Consumers’ Association has examined the new privacy policy of the running app Runkeeper and finds that it contains a lot of vague language. As a result, it is unclear with which companies data is shared. The app has new terms and conditions since April 1.

The Consumers’ Association writes that Runkeeper’s parent company, Asics, has been called to account for the shortcomings. The company then announced that it had made changes to the wording of the privacy policy, which should make it clear which companies fall under the Asics name. The Consumers’ Association does not consider this sufficient, because the use of the word ‘including’ still makes it unclear with which companies data is shared.

The terms further refer to “related companies” in addition to Facebook and other “social media partners”. In addition, Google Maps and “email partners” are mentioned. The Consumers’ Association further states that Runkeeper draws up profiles on the basis of user data. For example, based on location, activities, status information, comments and photos. The organization infers that profiles are being drawn up from the fact that Runkeeper says it makes an estimate of the interests of users based on the collected data.

The organization also wants Runkeeper to give its users the opportunity to indicate whether data may be collected for commercial purposes. Currently, there would only be an opt-out option for receiving email.

An investigation by the Norwegian counterpart of the Consumers’ Association, which took place in 2016, showed that the app forwarded GPS data to third parties. This also happened when the app was not used. Runkeeper responded to the report at the time by stating that it was a bug. The Android version of the app has between 10 and 50 million downloads. In its own words, the app has a total of 26 million users.