The gay dating app Grindr will stop sharing its users’ HIV status with analytics companies after a news report this week shed light on the practice.
Chief security officer Bryce Case told BuzzFeed News on Monday it decided to stop sharing information with Localytics to allay people’s fears.
Localytics and Apptimize were paid to test and monitor how the app is used.
The company says the firms are under “strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality.”
Grindr says data that may include location or information from HIV status fields are “always transmitted securely with encryption.”
But critics says the move is an egregious violation of privacy.
“Grindr’s action with its clients’ data appear to be unprecedented and is a serious violation of laws protecting the confidentiality of clients’ personal information, particularly sensitive health information that may result in stigma and discrimination targeting those individuals,” said Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation.
“We demand that Grindr immediately cease and desist this reckless practice. and do whatever it can to retrieve, shut down or halt the further sharing of this personal and confidential information.”
Grindr says it’s important to remember it is a public forum, and users have the option to post information about their HIV status and date when last tested. It says its users should carefully consider what information they list in their profiles.