Gay dating app Grindr faces lawsuit for allegedly sharing users’ HIV status

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

A London-based law firm announced on Monday that it is initiating a mass data protection lawsuit against the gay dating app Grindr, alleging that hundreds of users had their private information, including HIV status, shared with third parties without consent.

Austen Hays, the law firm filing the lawsuit at London’s High Court, indicated that thousands of Grindr users in the United Kingdom may have been impacted.

According to the firm, users’ highly sensitive data, such as HIV status and the date of their latest HIV test, were allegedly disclosed to third parties for commercial purposes.

Initially, a spokesperson for Grindr stated that they would vigorously respond to the claim, suggesting that it stemmed from practices over four years ago. However, in an updated statement, the spokesperson clarified that Grindr has never shared user-reported health information for commercial purposes or monetized such data.

Austen Hays reported that approximately 670 individuals have joined the lawsuit over breaches that allegedly occurred between 2018 and 2020, with the potential for thousands more to participate.

The firm’s managing director, Chaya Hanoomanjee, emphasized the importance of compensating those whose data was compromised and who experienced distress as a result. Hanoomanjee urged Grindr to ensure the safety of all users on the app and prevent unauthorized sharing of their data with third parties.

In response, Grindr’s spokesperson reaffirmed the company’s commitment to protecting users’ data and complying with relevant data privacy regulations, including those in the UK.

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