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Grindr shared data on the HIV status of its users with other companies

The dating app agreed to stop, but defended the sharing: “It’s important to remember that Grindr is a public forum”

Gay dating app Grindr has been criticised for providing information on people’s HIV status with third party partners, Apptimize and Localytics, as revealed by BuzzFeed News.

Users of the app are given the option to share their HIV status, as well as when they were last tested, and this information is readily available to others. This allows for other important features, such as reminders to be tested and information on where to go to be tested. The company has said that LGBTQ groups and international health organisations have supported this as beneficial for the health and wellbeing of the Grindr community.

Scott Chen, the CTO of Grindr, defended the sharing of this data in a Tumblr post: “It’s important to remember that Grindr is a public forum. We give users the option to post information about themselves including HIV status and last test date, and we make it clear in our privacy policy that if you choose to include this information in your profile, the information will also become public. As a result, you should carefully consider what information to include in your profile.”

The Tumblr post also specifies 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.”

According the BBC, Grindr has now stopped sharing information with Apptimize and will soon stop sharing with Localytics.