Grindr’s decision to share users’ HIV status with third-party companies could land the gay hook-up app in court after a complaint was filed against it for allegedly breaching European law.
Along with the user’s status, their GPS data, phone ID, email, sexual orientation, relationship status, the gay ‘tribe’ they consider themselves a part of, and their ethnicity, was shared with third party analytics companies. In light of the revelations, Grindr announced it will cease sharing the sensitive data but user’s of the app are being urged they are fully aware of the potential use of data they provide.
The Norwegian Consumer Council is not satisfied with Grindr’s decision and has filed a complaint with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority alleging that Grindr breached data protection laws.
Greater Transparency Needed
HIV Ireland has stated that Grindr’s disclosure of user’s HIV status without permission was unacceptable. Niall Mulligan, Executive Director of HIV Ireland stated today that ‘While Grindr’s ultimate response to this unwarranted disclosure is welcome, the situation of disclosing a person’s HIV status without their permission should never have occurred in the first place.
‘Disclosing one’s HIV status is a private decision. People who share their HIV status on Grindr are making a personal choice to share information with other Grindr users only. Grindr must now win back the trust of its users by ensuring this decision to cease disclosing their user’s HIV status to third parties holds fast.’
HIV Ireland is calling on all social media outlets to ensure their users are fully aware of the potential use of all data they are providing in order for them to make an informed choice as to what personal information to share or not.
This is crucial given the stigma that attaches to people living with HIV in Ireland and the potential risks to their employment and personal life that continue to be a serious problem in our society.
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