Report: Grindr app sold users’ location-tracking data for years

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the gay dating app Grindr was selling its users location-tracking data to advertisers for years, only stopping the practice in 2020.

Grindr, the dating app that tracks your location data to show you how close you are to another user for a potential meetup, was reportedly making its users location data available for purchase from 2017 to 2020. 

The data, which reportedly did not reveal any users’ names or phone numbers, did use data so specific that it became possible to learn a user’s personal information such as their workplace, home address, and frequent stops. 

The fear is that on an app tailored toward the LGBTQIA+ community, such specific information may be used to target them and put them in unsafe positions. The possibility exists for blackmail of those who are still not out, and violent attacks from anti-LGBTQIA+ activists.

“Since early 2020, Grindr has shared less information with ad partners than any of the big tech platforms and most of our competitors,” Grindr spokesperson Patrick Lenihan told WSJ. “The company has cut back on the amount of data they share—even paying the price of reduced ad quality and reduced revenue.”

Lenihan added, “The activities that have been described would not be possible with Grindr’s current privacy practices, which we’ve had in place for two years.”

Unfortunately, in spite of Grindr halting the sale of user data, historical data prior to 2020 may still be available, dating all the way back to 2017. 

This is not the first time the app has come under fire for selling user information. In 2021 Norway’s Data Protection Authority fined Grindr 100 million Norwegian crowns – about 10 percent of the app’s global market value – for illegally selling user data. 




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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