In addition to offering reminders for users to get regular HIV tests, popular same-sex dating app Grindr is also sharing those same test results with other companies, reportedly.
Verified by BuzzFeed News, new data shows that the app is sharing such sensitive info about its users’ statuses with two other businesses, Apptimize and Localytics; which both help in app optimization.
Additionally, information obtained is only that visible on user’s profiles; which, should one choose to make public, includes common dating app details, plus user HIV status and “last tested date.”
Since the HIV info is sent along with a user’s GPS data, phone ID and email, the details could also specify users and their HIV status, per Norwegian nonprofit researcher Antoine Pultier of SINTEF.
So, he explains that the HIV status and additional information all are linked.
“That’s the main issue. I think this is the incompetence of some developers that just send everything, including HIV status.”
In addition; James Krellenstein, a member of AIDS advocacy group ACT UP New York, explains the risks the sharing of data causes:
“Grindr is a relatively unique place for openness about HIV status. To then have that data shared with third parties that you weren’t explicitly notified about, and having that possibly threaten your health or safety — that is an extremely, extremely egregious breach of basic standards that we wouldn’t expect from a company that likes to brand itself as a supporter of the queer community.”
Also, Electronic Frontier Foundation senior staff technologist and security researcher, Cooper Quintin, details:
“It allows anybody who is running the network or who can monitor the network — such as a hacker or a criminal with a little bit of tech knowledge, or your ISP or your government — to see what your location is.”
Furthermore, Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project optimistically comments:
“What the law regards as informed consent is in almost all instances uninformed consent. I hope that one small silver lining here will be that users and citizens will realize that there are enormous loopholes in the privacy regime and that personal information is bought and sold freely on a global market.”
So, #Socialites what are your thoughts on this breach of privacy?
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