Grindr’s Social Impact vice president, Jack Harrison-Quintana, has appeared in a video apologizing for the distress the company had caused after reports it had shared users’ HIV statuses with other companies. This data, along with other information including sexual orientation, ethnicity, GPS data and the gay ‘tribe’ the user considered themselves a part of was shared with third party analytics companies.
In the video, Harrison-Quintana, is seen apologizing for “all of the distress that we’ve caused over the last 48 hours.” He continues, “I want to say at the outset very clearly that we have never and would never sell any user data, especially HIV information, to advertisers or anyone else.”
“Three years ago, I was hired to found Grindr for Equality, with the mission to promote LGBTQ health and human rights all over the world through our platform. And one of the things I heard from users most frequently was that there was a lot of anxiety about bringing up sexual health in conversation, both online and off. Users asked me for additional ways to communicate about HIV status on the app, and so I worked with noted HIV prevention specialists to create profile options that would allow self-reporting of HIV status for any users who wanted to do that.”
He goes on to say, “Over the past few days, we’ve heard your concerns. Your privacy and trust are very important to us…. From now on, HIV status data will be isolated from the rest of the information that we have, so that it’s inaccessible to even our most trusted partners who we work with every day.
“I’ve spent the past 10 years fighting for health, safety, and human rights for queer people all over the world, and I came to Grindr because this is a company that’s fundamentally linked to our community. That gives us tremendous power to help the community, and that also comes with tremendous responsibility. I want to apologize again from me as well as the entire Grindr team for all of the distress that we’ve caused over the past two days. We take this very seriously, and invite all your further questions, as we work to rebuild your trust.”
It remains to be seen whether the apology will be accepted by those users involved.
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