Popular dating app Grindr has been found to be sharing sensitive information about its users’ HIV status with two external companies.
An investigation by Norway’s largest independent research organisation SINTEF have released data from an experiment they conducted, on February 7, in order to investigate and analyse personal data privacy leaks in the dating app for Sweedish TV program Plus Granskar.
“We discovered that Grindr contains many trackers, and shares personal information with various third parties directly from the application,” researchers revealed. “By decompiling the Grindr Android source code, we discovered tracking software. Notably Facebook, Smatoop or Localytics.”
The app who boasts 3 million daily users in 232 countries and territories have responded to questions asking why it shares app users HIV status with external companies Apptimize and Localytics.
Thousands of companies use these highly-regarded platforms. These are standard practices in the mobile app ecosystem,” Grindr Chief Technology Officer Scott Chen told BuzzFeed News. “No Grindr user information is sold to third parties. We pay these software vendors to utilise their services.
“The limited information shared with these platforms is done under strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality, data security, and user privacy.”
SINTEF’s report questioned the necessity and safety of third parties having access to sensitive medical information.
“These third parties are not necessarily certified to host medical data, and Grindr’s users may not be aware that they are sharing such data with them.”