Grindr Will Stop Sharing Users' HIV Data With Other Companies

Grindr Will Stop Sharing Users' HIV Data With Other Companies

Grindr Will Stop Sharing Users' HIV Data With Other Companies

That's according to BuzzFeed News which reported that Antoine Pultier, a researcher from Norwegian non-profit organisation SINTEF, found that users' HIV status was sent to two other companies, along with their email addresses, phone ID, and Global Positioning System data.

Secondly, Grindr is letting private data go beyond the confines of its infrastructure by allowing data to be stored on servers it doesn't control.

"I actually find this very disturbing and possibly sinister", San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy was quoted by the TV station as saying.

Antoine Pultier, a researcher at the Norwegian nonprofit SINTEF, which first identified the issue, said that the two companies were also given users' Global Positioning System data, phone ID and email, making it possible for them to identify specific users. Second, app developers must be aware that information collection, even with the best intentions such as promoting safe sex, can come back and bite you. While I doubt this will spell the end for Grindr, it will, if nothing else, have its members thinking about what data they share.

The most sensitive information was encrypted, Grindr said - though a Norwegian campaign group said the sharing of other, unencrypted, data amounted to a potential privacy intrusion. In the dating app, the users are given an option to fill or skip HIV related information.

"There are plenty of ones that gay men can use that aren't sharing our HIV status", he said.

Bryce Case, Grindr's chief security officer, told BuzzFeed the company had chose to stop sharing information with Localytics over the reaction to the report, calling it a "misunderstanding of technology".

To be legal under European law Grindr would need to gain separate and clear consent from users for their personal info to be shared, it argues.

Experts also brought into question the matter of user privacy and its breach by sharing data that could potentially put the user's life at risk.

One week after queer hookup app Grindr announced it would offer a feature reminding users to get tested for HIV, an explosive news report reveals the site is sharing customers' HIV status with at least two outside companies. The change will happen alongside the next update for the app, according to Bryce Case, Grindr chief security officer. He said that the third parties are under "contractual obligation" not to share the information with others.

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.

The decision comes after BuzzFeed reported Monday that Grindr, which has 3.6 million daily active users worldwide, has been providing HIV status and "last tested date" - information that Grindr users choose to include in their profiles - to two analytics companies. Bryan Dunn, the vice president of product at Localytics, said in a statement that Localytics does not "automatically collect" a user's personal information.

"Our personal information needs to be owned by us; and only we should have visibility as to where and how this data is used, and on what basis".

Grindr was officially founded and launched in 2009 by Joel Simkhai.

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