Grindr under fire for sharing HIV status of users

Social networking service ignited privacy worries over how it shared sensitive user details including HIV status and GPS location with third-party services.

Same-sex dating app Grindr has said it will stop sharing users’ HIV status after it was revealed that the details were shared with third-party analytics companies.

Published on InfoSecurity | By Dan Raywood

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According to initial research by Antoine Pultier, a researcher at SINTEF, and verified by Buzzfeed News, Grindr shared HIV status along with users’ GPS data, sexuality, relationship status, ethnicity, phone ID and email to Apptimize and Localytics, which help optimize apps. This information, unlike the HIV data, was sometimes shared via plain text.

Buzzfeed News reported that under the app’s “HIV status” category, users can choose from a variety of statuses, which include whether the user is positive, positive and on HIV treatment, negative, or negative and on PrEP, the once-daily pill shown to effectively prevent contracting HIV.

In a statement, Grindr CTO Scott Chen said that as a company that serves the LGBTQ community “we understand the sensitivities around HIV status disclosure” and clarified that 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.

Chen clarified that it does work with highly-regarded vendors to test and optimize how it rolls out the platform, and these vendors are under strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality, data security and user privacy.

Read entire article Grindr Under Fire for Sharing HIV Status of Users | InfoSecurity

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