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In its warning letter, the FTC said it asked Wildec to immediately remove personal information of children on its apps.
The commission also issued a consumer alert warning parents about the apps and advising them to consider parental controls to require approval on their kids' phones before downloading a new app.
Wildec’s failure to do so appeared to violate federal rules, wrote Maneesha Mithal, associate director of the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.
Don’t miss: Dating sites crack down on liars In fact, regulators said they were “able to search for other users by age and location to find users near our location who indicated that they were young as 12 years old.” (Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.) Such data collection and user policies pose “a significant risk to children’s health and safety,” Mithal said. All FTC requirements and recommendations have now been met and he hopes the apps will be back Apple and Google Play, he said.
The FTC said Wildec's apps allowed users to sign up for the service and be contacted by other users even after they indicated they were underage.
Some adult users, who allegedly contacted minors through the apps, have faced criminal charges for doing so, according to the FTC.
Another interesting feature is that it lets you see the number of times you have crossed path with the same individual.
The app lets you view new profiles every time you load it and you can easily swipe right if you want to meet someone or swipe left if you are not interested in them.
The FTC said "it's possible that updated versions of these apps could appear in the future – but only for adults."Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.© 2019 CNBC LLC. A Division of NBCUniversal Data is a real-time snapshot *Data is delayed at least 15 minutes.
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He pointed to three criminal cases where the authorities said the apps enabled men to allegedly reach out to minors. (Users must tell sites like Tinder, Bumble and Match they are at least 18.) Over 50% of people in a 2013 Pew Research Center study said their dates had “seriously misrepresented” themselves; about a quarter of those poll participants said they were contacted by someone through a site and felt harassed or uncomfortable.
Shares of Google were up 12.7% year-to-date, while shares of Apple were up 28.4%.