The Cnil is looking into the Elyze app, the presidential “Tinder”

REGULATIONS – The Elyze app has achieved some success, with several hundred thousand downloads. But some observers have noted negligence in data security.

Since its arrival in January, the Elyze application has been a huge success. In less than a month, it has attracted more than a million users with a single promise: to decide between the candidates for the presidential election by swiping left or right depending on whether they agree or disagree with their proposals.

But now, the application now raises some questions. On Twitter in particular, several Internet users were worried about possible abuses while another managed to hack the application by entering his name in the development. The candidate of La France Insoumise Jean-Luc Mélenchon was himself moved on the social network. “Another twist on the #Elyze app… Who benefits from this bad trick? Guess…”, he had posted this January 12, screenshot in support. Above, Emmanuel Macron won the top of the podium, while the user agreed with the proposals of all the candidates.

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Presidential election 2022

Resale of “sensitive data”

Faced with these controversies, the Cnil, the French policeman for personal data, has decided to get involved. The authority will verify whether the latter complies with the regulations of the “sensitive data”. Depending on whether or not the application complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the regulator reserves the right to “to use its powers of repression”.

“In general, this type of application must provide strong guarantees to protect the data of its users”, explains the Cnil, emphasizing here, the character all the more “sensitive” of the latter, associated with political opinions. “The collection of this data is in principle prohibited, except in exceptional cases, for example if the explicit consent of the people is collected”, adds the regulator. Problem, Elyze includes in its general conditions of use the possibility of “sell usage data, always anonymized, to third parties”. In other words, the application, which records the date of birth, postal code and gender of the user, can resell this information to the highest bidders.

Read also

  • We tested Elyze, the Tinder of politics to match with its presidential candidate

Contacted by AFP, Grégoire Cazacarra, one of the co-founders, defended himself from any malicious act. “No data is shared with Google and Facebook. The data is anonymous, the application does not individually identify any user”, he explained, arguing that “the starting point” of the project was only “to fight a galloping abstention which increases election after election”.

According to him, the saved data could be used for “scientific research” or if the application decides to offer new content, but “they are not intended to be provided to a party or a campaign team”.

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