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Grindr has been sharing the HIV status of its users with other companies

The gay dating app has defended itself following a public outcry.

By Will Stroude

Grindr has defend itself after an investigation found that it shared the HIV status of its users with external companies. 

The report published by Buzzfeed on Monday (April 2) showed that the US-based gay dating app had shared the information, including the date of users’ last HIV test, with two third-party orgnisations.

Grindr said the data was shared with Apptimize and Localytics in line with standard industry practise to help optimise the app, and was not sold to advertisers.

The company’s security boss later said the app had been unfairly singled out in the wake of the Facebook data scandal.

That scandal saw a third-party company, Cambridge Analytica, harvest Facebook users’ data before using it to target voters in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election.

According to the BBC, Grindr has alread stopped sharing information with Apptimize, and is in the process of ending its working relationship with Localytics.

In a statement, Grindr’s chief technology officer, Scott Chen, said sensitive data was encrypted when sent and that the external companies were under strict terms to keep it confidential.

“Grindr has never, nor will we ever sell personally identifiable user information – especially information regarding HIV status or last test date – to third parties or advertisers,” Chen said.

Chen added that “as a company that serves the LGBTQ community, we understand the sensitivities around HIV status disclosure”, but pointed out that Grindr was a “public forum” and “if you choose to include this information in your profile, the information will also become public”.