Dating App Grindr Sued For Allegedly Sharing HIV Data With Advertisers

A lawsuit alleges that the popular gay dating app Grindr shared users’ confidential information with marketers, including HIV status and other sensitive facts.

According to a legal firm called Austen Hays, the US corporation violated data protection standards by sharing the private information of many individuals without their authorization. About 670 individuals have joined the complaint filed at London’s High Court. If the claims are successful, a large sum of money can be available to them.

Chaya Hanoomanjee, managing director of Grindr, stressed prioritizing user safety and data privacy and taking responsibility for the LGBTQ+ community it serves. Grindr has decided to stop sharing users’ HIV status with companies and has admitted that it did so in the past. The company has clarified that the sharing was not done for commercial objectives. Grindr has said unequivocally that they would never sell or share any user data with third parties or advertising, including information on users’ HIV status or the date of their previous test, as shown by independent researchers in 2018.

To choose to let users reveal their HIV status and ‘Last Tested Date’ on their public profile, Grindr spoke with many international health groups in 2016. Apptimize and Localytics, two of Grindr’s trusted partners, were given users’ HIV statuses so that the app could test and deploy new features, such as the “HIV Testing Reminder” function. In response to the case, Grindr has released a statement, which they made available to Ars. The firm has clarified that protecting user data and following all applicable data privacy standards, including those in the UK, is their top priority.

As Austen Hays stresses, the breadth of their complaint goes beyond only HIV status information. According to the legal firm, data breaches mainly occurred before 3 April 2018 and between 25 May 2018 and 7 April 2020; however, they may have also impacted other periods.