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Gay Apps Leak User Data Making Them Potential Targets

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In a demonstration for BBC News, cyber-security experts have shown the potential risks for users of gay dating apps like Grindr, Romeo and Recon.

The cyber-security experts revealed users can unwittingly reveal their precise location to other users through data leaks or ‘distance from me’ information.

This problem and the associated risks have been known about for years but some of the biggest apps have still not fixed the issue.

After the cyber-security experts shared their findings with the apps involved, Recon made changes – but Grindr and Romeo did not.

Recon told BBC News, “Historically we’ve found that our members appreciate having accurate information when looking for members nearby.

“In hindsight, we realise that the risk to our members’ privacy associated with accurate distance calculations is too high and have therefore implemented the snap-to-grid method to protect the privacy of our members’ location information.”

Grindr pointed out that users have the option to “hide their distance information from their profiles”.

It added Grindr did obfuscate location data “in countries where it is dangerous or illegal to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community”.

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