Dems question Grindr over sharing of users' HIV status

Dems question Grindr over sharing of users' HIV status
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Two Democratic senators are demanding the gay dating app Grindr explain how it protects privacy following news the company shares self-reported data on users’ HIV status.

“Simply using an app should not give companies a license to carelessly handle, use, or share this type of sensitive information,” Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Health Care: CDC recommends face coverings in public | Resistance to social distancing sparks new worries | Controversy over change of national stockpile definition | McConnell signals fourth coronavirus bill Democratic senators want probe into change of national stockpile description Overnight Energy: Oil giants meet with Trump at White House | Interior extends tenure of controversial land management chief | Oil prices tick up on hopes of Russia-Saudi deal MORE (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) wrote in a letter to the company. 

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The app gives two third-party analytics firms access to its data, including its users’ HIV status, BuzzFeed and independent researchers revealed on Monday.

The discovery sparked criticism from privacy experts over Grindr’s data sharing practices.

“Grindr and those with whom it shares its users’ sensitive information has an obligation to both protect this data and ensure users have meaningful control over it,” the lawmakers wrote.

They pressed the company to answer questions about its data collection and privacy protection policies as well as information on what other third parties get user data.

Markey and Blumenthal also sent letters to the two analytics companies that Grindr shared user HIV status information with: Apptimize and Localytics. They asked them to give details about their data collection practices and policies regarding Grindr users' HIV status.

Grindr said on Monday that it will stop sharing its users’ HIV status with other companies.

“I understand the news cycle right now is very focused on these issues,” Grindr’s head of security, Bryce Case, told Axios. “I think what’s happened to Grindr is, unfairly, we’ve been singled out.”