Private data of thousands of users of gay date app Grindr was on sale for years: Report

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
New Delhi, India Updated: May 02, 2022, 09:33 PM(IST)

The data has been available for roughly five years, since 2017, and the article indicates that past data may still be available. This is despite the fact that the corporation claims to have stopped sending location data to ad networks. Photograph:( AFP )

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A recent investigation by the Wall Street Journal has discovered a big privacy flaw in Grindr, an app that caters to gay, homosexual individuals

Dating apps like Tinder, OkCupid, and Grindr are all the rage these days. Despite the fact that they make dating and meeting new people so easy, dating apps can also pose a privacy risk.

A recent investigation by the Wall Street Journal has discovered a big privacy flaw in Grindr, an app that caters to gay, homosexual individuals.

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Users' location information from the app has been on sale for years.

The data has been available for roughly five years, since 2017, and the article indicates that past data may still be available. This is despite the fact that the corporation claims to have stopped sending location data to ad networks.

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Citing people familiar with the matter, the journal said that “The precise movements of millions of users of the gay-dating app Grindr were collected from a digital advertising network and made available for sale."

The data is believed to not contain personal information like names and phone numbers. The location data, however, allows users to infer things like specific users and romantic encounters based on their proximity to a particular location. A user's location data can also provide clues to their identity, such as their work and home addresses.

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In 2020, a Norwegian consumer group also reported that apps like Grindr and OkCupid share personal information like user location and sexuality with approximately 100 businesses. These businesses use the data for advertising and marketing purposes.

Even today many are not open about their sexual orientation and in some places being gay still carries risk, so this breach of privacy can be very dangerous. Experts have expressed concern about the sharing of such data, with some calling it risky in extreme circumstances.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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