Grindr, one of the most famous dating apps, has been fined almost € 10 million in Norway. It shared user data with advertising agencies.
Should Grindr better handle the privacy of its users? The popular gay dating app is under heavy fire in Norway for allegedly sharing data with major players such as Twitter. The local data authority Datatilsynet reports this.
What was shared?
The shared data includes GPS location and user profile. But in Norway they are especially not satisfied that it is passed on that someone is on the app. That gives an idea about someone’s sexuality and that is private, says Datatilsynet. Grindr shared that data with MoPub, Xandr, OpenX Software, AdColony, and Smaato. They will also be fined.
So the immense fine, up to 10 percent of Twitter’s annual income, comes after ignoring the European GDPR laws that protect your data in the EU. It states, among other things, that you cannot be forced to use the app if the only alternative is to share your data. Not sharing with third parties is not an option.
The fine is not yet final, Grindr has until mid-February to appeal.
Also in Belgium?
The Dutch Data Protection Authority tells the tech magazine Tweakers: “Selling things like your location without your permission is a very serious violation of the privacy law. Without the users’ knowledge, Grindr patrolled them to resell that information to advertising companies. More seriously, Grindr was in fact also trading people’s sexual orientation, by letting you know who installed the app for a fee. You must be able to decide to whom you tell that you are, for example, homosexual. That should not be a commodity. ”
Grindr as a business
Grindr has 5 million active members per month. The company was founded in Los Angeles in 2009 and was acquired by the Chinese Kunlun in 2016. That tried to set up an IPO, but was signaled as an unsafe company and so it fell through.
In March 2020, Kunlun announced that 98.59 percent of the shares would be sold to San Vicente, a US company, for $ 608.5 million.