"I don't think any of these apps have bad intentions but some of them have negligent security practices that would allow an attacker or a person who has bad intentions to find out information about users the app doesn't intend."During the work, the researcher, from a leading US university, used a passive packet sniffing method to analyse data being sent to a phone from the apps’ servers.
The technique was recently used to find security flaws in fitness trackers.
Another study found 110 Google Play store and Apple App store apps sharing data with third parties – an issue that could be problematic with data protection laws.
The apps we analysed – Happn, Hot Or Not, Tinder, Match.com, Bumble, Anastasia Date, Once, Hook Up Now, Meet Me and Affair D – are used by millions of people worldwide.
During testing, four of the free apps exposed customer information by not fully securing data sent from the app's owners to customers' phones.Separately, a paper from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and AT&T Labs research used a similar method of attack to discover 56 per cent of 100 popular websites leak visitors' personal data.App analysis firm has also conducted MITM attacks against 76 popular i OS applications and found it possible to intercept data being moved from a server to a device.During analysis, Meet Me sent data to one advertiser "110 times during a five-minute period while clicking different buttons in the app", according to our source.Much of this data was sent when an in-app button was pressed.It's supposed to only reveal a person's first name, but technical analysis of data packets showed it also leaks a person's Facebook ID.