Grindr sharing users' location and HIV status with third-party companies

Grindr’s HIV Data Sharing Betrayed The LGBTQ Community

Grindr’s HIV Data Sharing Betrayed The LGBTQ Community

As data privacy concerns sparked by Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal rock the tech industry, gay hookup app Grindr announced Monday that it will stop sharing its users' HIV status with third parties.

Founded in 2009, the California-based app claims about 3.6 million daily active users around the world. Dunn also said the data is not sold and is stored in industry-standard security management systems. They asked them to give details about their data collection practices and policies regarding Grindr users' HIV status.

"Grindr processes sensitive personal data, such as HIV-status, sexual orientation, and sexual preferences". Nevertheless, some of the privacy experts do believe that it still leaves the information of the users vulnerable to the external forces hoping to hack data for nefarious reasons.

News website Axios reported that Grindr's security chief said the company has stopped sharing users' HIV status with its third-party vendors. It is available in 192 countries.

Grindr says it's important to remember it is a public forum and users have the option to post information about their HIV status and date when last tested.

Grindr said if users did not want their data being shared with these companies, they should not have volunteered it.

Executive director of HIV Ireland Niall Mulligan said disclosing a person's HIV status without their permission should never have occurred in the first place.

"Privacy isn't just about credit card numbers and passwords", tweeted Markey.

"I understand the news cycle right now is very focused on these issues", Grindr's head of security, Bryce Case, told Axios. Such public sharing gets up to becomes a serious issue when it comes to the users in the places that are less accepting of the LGBT community, particularly as some of that information was shared through easily hackable "plain text".

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) called Grindr's data sharing "an egregious breach of confidentiality laws", demanding it "immediately cease and desist the reckless practice".

Just when you think we're done seeing Questionable Privacy reports another company just steps in saying "Hold my beer".

The Norwegian Consumer Council also claimed it was "disconcerting that users of the Grindr service are at risk of losing control over personal data regarding their sexual preferences and HIV-status", and noted that, "Data protection legislation in the United States is significantly weaker than in Europe, and the individual is afforded a lower grade of protection for their own personal data".

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