Grindr hit with privacy complaint in Europe over sharing user data

Grindr hit with privacy complaint in Europe over sharing user data

The Norwegian Consumer Council has filed a privacy complaint about Grindr, arguing it’s in breach of national and European data protection laws after it emerged the dating app has been sharing personal information about its users with third parties. This data was sent via an encrypted transmission. But users were not informed their HIV status was being shared. Grindr has claimed HIV status data is being shared only for testing and platform optimization purposes — and that the third parties in question are “under strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality, data security, and user privacy” . The Council is objecting to both the sharing of highly sensitive HIV statuses and other personal information with third parties without Grindr gaining explicit user consent for the data to be handed off to others. Grindr, who only mention sharing user data in their privacy policy, does not obtain clear consent,” Myrstad asserts. “The Consumer Council regard this disclaimer as unfortunate, especially when Grindr is transferring sensitive personal data about European users. European users of the app have the right to have their personal data protected according to European law,” it writes. “The Consumer Council cannot see that Grindr is registered under the trans-Atlantic data transfer agreement Privacy Shield, which is meant to ensure that personal data that is transferred to the United States is protected in line with European data protection law. “In the view of the Consumer Council, information about sensitive personal data being shared with third parties should not be hidden away in long terms of service and privacy policies.

Conservative Twitter accounts complain of lost followers in apparent bot purge
Ann Coulter And Delta Air Lines Clash Over Seat Assignments
Is Twitter going back to 140 characters? Users complain about bizarre glitch that revokes the new 280-character limit for some
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Buffer
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

The Norwegian Consumer Council has filed a privacy complaint about Grindr, arguing it’s in breach of national and European data protection laws after it emerged the dating app has been sharing personal information about its users with third parties.

As we reported earlier, Norwegian research outfit SINTEF analyzed the app’s traffic and found that — if set — a user’s HIV status is included in packets sent to two app optimization firms, Apptimize and Localytics.

This data was sent via an encrypted transmission. But users were not informed their HIV status was being shared.

Grindr has claimed HIV status data is being shared only for testing and platform optimization purposes — and that the third parties in question are “under strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality, data security, and user privacy” .

But, in SINTEF’s assessment, it is not strictly necessary to transmit such data for analytics and functionality testing (A/B testing) purposes.

Localytics, one of the third-party services Grindr shares user data with – such as GPS location, HIV status and ‘last tested date’ (see https://t.co/Tq6vdgGa0W) – claims to track app users across 37,000 different apps on ‘more than 2.7 billion devices’: https://t.co/wJnFaO7crc pic.twitter.com/S4xBIQlM7m

As well as HIV statuses, SINTEF found Grindr transmits a raft of other personal data points to third party ad firms — this time via unencrypted transmissions — namely: precise GPS position, gender, age, “tribe” (aka group-affiliation, e.g. trans, bear), intention (e.g. friends, relationship), ethnicity, relationship status, language and device characteristics.

The Council is objecting to both the sharing of highly sensitive HIV statuses and other personal information with third parties without Grindr gaining explicit user consent for the data to be handed off to others.

“Information about sexual orientation and health status is regarded…

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This