Grindr refuses to apologise for sending users’ HIV statuses to third parties

Grindr, the gay dating app

Gay dating app Grindr has confirmed it has shared the HIV status of its users with outside firms – but declined to issue an apology.

It was revealed this weekend that a massive amount of user data from the gay hook-up app, including the stated HIV status of users, was shared with two private companies that help “optimise” apps, Localytics and Apptimize.

Cybersecurity experts also alleged that the dating app was sending advertisers its users’ precise GPS position, sexuality, relationship status, ethnicity, phone ID, and even their ‘tribe’ – such as ‘twink’ or ‘daddy’ in a plaintext format that could be easily hacked and stolen.

Grindr (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

(Leon Neal/Getty Images)

LGBT campaigners have voiced fury after the news came to light in a BuzzFeed report, but the app – recently acquired by a Chinese conglomerate – has refused to apologise.

The app’s chief security officer Bryce Case told BuzzFeed that while he would “not admit fault”, the company would stop sharing the data “based on the reaction — a misunderstanding of technology — to allay people’s fears”.

In a statement to PinkNews, Grindr CTO Scott Chen said: “As a company that serves the LGBTQ community, we understand the sensitivities around HIV status disclosure. Our goal is and always has been to support the health and safety of our users worldwide.

“Recently, Grindr’s industry standard use of third party partners including Apptimize and Localytics, two highly-regarded software vendors, to test and validate the way we roll out our platform has drawn concern over the way we share user data.

“In an effort to clear any misinformation we feel it necessary to state:

“1. Grindr has never, nor will we ever sell personally identifiable user information – especially information regarding HIV status or last test date – to third parties or advertisers.

“2. As an industry standard practice, Grindr does work with highly-regarded vendors to test and optimize how we roll out our platform. These vendors are under strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality, data security, and user privacy.

Comments (0)

MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.

Loading Comments