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Imports soar along with Norwegians’ berry love

In one year, Norwegians have taken to eating foreign strawberries by the tonne, tripling imports after a bad start to the berry season.

Imports soar along with Norwegians' berry love
A Norwegian strawberry grower. File photo: Vegard Grøtt/Scanpix

This year, Norway has imported some 1,500 tonnes of strawberries. The equivalent figure by this time last year was 683, show figures from Statistics Norway (Statistisk sentralbyrå – SSB), which cited a decline in homegrown berries following a bad strawberry season in June.

Brit Kåsin at the self-labelled myth-busting online paper Opplysningskontoret, however, said blaming imported berries' succesful entry on the Norwegian consumer market on bad weather was incorrect. She said instead that cash-strapped Norwegians were simply buying strawberries long before the domestic berry season began, because the price was no longer a barrier for most strawberry-loving citizens. 

"The strawberry season did start of badly,(…) but the reason for the hike is simply that Norwegians can't get enough of strawberries," she told the NTB news agency. "People want strawberries all year round, and not just to stick to the summer and Norwegian berries." 

 

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DATA

Norway consumer rights group accuses Tinder, Grindr of illegally sharing data

Popular dating apps like Tinder and Grindr are sharing the personal data of their users to third parties in breach of EU regulations, a Norwegian consumer rights group said Tuesday.

Norway consumer rights group accuses Tinder, Grindr of illegally sharing data
Photo: AFP

A new report by the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) details how Grindr, which markets itself as the “world's largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans and queer people,” shares the GPS data, IP addresses, ages and genders of its users with a multitude of third-party companies to help them improve advert targeting.

According to the government-funded non-profit organisation, the sharing of this data implicitly discloses users' sexual orientations.

The report, titled “Out of Control”, examines the collection and use of personal data by 10 popular apps and concludes that the advertising industry is “systematically breaking the law”.

“Every time you open an app like Grindr, advertisement networks get your GPS location, device identifiers and even the fact that you use a gay dating app,” Austrian activist Max Schrems said in a statement by the NCC.

“This is an insane violation of users' EU privacy rights,” Schrems said.

The dating app Tinder is also accused of sharing user data with at least 45 companies owned by the Match Group, which operates a dating website of the same name.

The report also criticised other applications, such as Qibla Finder, which orients Muslims towards Mecca for prayer; Clue and MyDays used for monitoring fertility periods; and the children's app My Talking Tom 2.

Some 20 months since the EU's General Data Protection Regulation took effect in May 2018, “consumers are still pervasively tracked and profiled online,” the report said.

Users “have no way of knowing which entities process their data and how to stop them,” it added.

“Consumers have no meaningful ways to resist or otherwise protect themselves from the effects of profiling (including) different forms of discrimination and exclusion,” the statement said.

Grindr, which is owned by Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

READ ALSO: Facebook, Google 'manipulate' users to share data despite EU law: Norwegian study

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