Grindr: Potential Legal Action Looms Against Dating App Over Allegedly Sharing Users’ HIV Status With Ad Firms

By Trisha Andrada

Apr 22, 2024 05:35 AM EDT

This illustration picture taken on July 24, 2019 in Paris shows the logo of the US social networking application Grindr on the screen of a tablet.
(Photo : MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Grindr may soon be hit with a lawsuit from users who claim the dating app leaked their HIV status and other private information to advertising agencies.

US-Owned Grindr Accused of Violating UK's Data Protection Regulations

In a petition to be filed on Monday, April 22, in London's high court, the law firm Austen Hays asserts that the social networking app for the LGBTQ+ community (headquartered in the United States) violated British data protection regulations, the Guardian reported.

Austen Hays believes that thousands of Grindr users in the United Kingdom had their personal data stolen. There have been 670 sign-ups for the claim so far, and the legal team stated "thousands" more were considering it.

The alleged disclosure of user data to two advertising firms by Grindr is the main point of the high court lawsuit against the company. Additional allegations will be made on the possibility that those ad firms may have sold the data to other entities.

"Our clients have experienced significant distress over their highly sensitive and private information being shared without their consent, and many have suffered feelings of fear, embarrassment, and anxiety as a result," said Chaya Hanoomanjee, managing director of Austen Hays, who is leading the claim.

The legal firm suggested some consumers may be entitled to hundreds of pounds in damages.

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Grindr Claims Allegation Is Based on Misrepresentation of Past Policies

Grindr said it would strongly react against the accusation, stating that it was based on an inaccurate portrayal of past policies.

In 2009, Grindr was created with the intention of simplifying the process of homosexual men arranging hookups. With millions of members all across the globe, it promotes itself as the biggest LGBTQ+ dating app.

In the UK, a November 2023 study from the country's communications regulator Ofcom found that Grindr is the most popular dating app among users aged 54 and above.

The lawsuit against Grindr will concentrate on the dates prior to April 3, 2018, and May 25, 2018, through April 7, 2020. In April 2020, Grindr made changes to its consent methods.

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