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Grindr sued in London for sharing users' HIV status with ad firms

The LGBTQ+ app allegedly shared information to third parties for commercial purposes without the users’ consent, which included data on ethnicity, sexual orientation and HIV test dates, according to law firm Austen Hays which filed the claim at the High Court Monday.
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 12:26 IST
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 12:26 IST

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By Katharine Gemmell

Grindr Inc. was sued by users for sharing sensitive personal information, including their HIV status, with advertising companies in a London lawsuit.

The LGBTQ+ app allegedly shared information to third parties for commercial purposes without the users’ consent, which included data on ethnicity, sexual orientation and HIV test dates, according to law firm Austen Hays which filed the claim at the High Court Monday.

The service — described as the world’s largest social-networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people — was previously fined $6 million by Norway in 2021 for data privacy behavior that breached Europe’s strict privacy laws. The UK’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office, also investigated the app and issued a warning against breaches.

The law firm filed the class action style claim on behalf of potentially hundreds of users. They say the data breach happened mainly before April 2018 and between May 2018 and April 2020 and included two adtech companies, Localytics and Apptimize.

“Grindr owes it to the LGBTQ+ community it serves to compensate those whose data has been compromised and have suffered distress as a result, and to ensure all its users are safe while using the app, wherever they are, without fear that their data might be shared with third parties,” Chaya Hanoomanjee, a lawyer at Austen Hays, said.

A spokesperson for Grindr didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Published 22 April 2024, 12:26 IST

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