Grindr Gets Dragged For Reportedly Sharing The HIV Status Of Its Users To Other Companies

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 24:  The "Grindr" app logo is seen amongst other dating apps on a mobile phone screen on November 24, 2016 in London, England.  Following a number of deaths linked to the use of anonymous online dating apps, the police have warned users to be aware of the risks involved, following the growth in the scale of violence and sexual assaults linked to their use.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Grindr Gets Dragged For Reportedly Sharing The HIV Status Of Its Users To Other Companies

Some say this could be grounds for a lawsuit.

Published April 2nd

Users of Grindr, a dating and hookup app used in the gay community, are furious after learning the company has been providing its users’ HIV status to two other companies.

According to BuzzFeed News, Apptimize and Localytics, two tech companies that help optimize apps, has received information from the profiles of Grindr’s 3.6 million users. This information includes their HIV status and “last tested date.”

The HIV status of the users was included along with GPS data, phone ID, and email. This means the companies can identify specific users and their HIV status, according to Antoine Pultier, a researcher at the Norwegian nonprofit SINTEF.

“The HIV status is linked to all the other information. That’s the main issue,” Pultier told BuzzFeed News. “I think this is the incompetence of some developers that just send everything, including HIV status.”

Grindr recently rolled out an optional feature that would remind users to get tested for HIV every three to six months.

Although the HIV reminder is a positive step for healthy hookups in the gay community, many worry the company is not protecting its users’ privacy.

“Grindr is a relatively unique place for openness about HIV status,” James Krellenstein, a member of AIDS advocacy group ACT UP New York, told BuzzFeed News.

“To then have that data shared with third parties that you weren’t explicitly notified about, and having that possibly threaten your health or safety — that is an extremely, extremely egregious breach of basic standards that we wouldn’t expect from a company that likes to brand itself as a supporter of the queer community."

  1. Many people slammed Grindr and said this is grounds for a lawsuit
  2. Some even went as far as to say Grindr's decision to share this information is a HIPPA violation
  3. Despite the negative press Grindr has received, the company has said everything they've done will make the app better

    “Thousands of companies use these highly-regarded platforms. These are standard practices in the mobile app ecosystem,” Grindr Chief Technology Officer Scott Chen told BuzzFeed News in a statement. “No Grindr user information is sold to third parties. We pay these software vendors to utilize their services.”

Written by BET Staff

(Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

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