Trump admin investigated Chinese acquisition of Grindr over national security concerns: report

The Trump administration investigated the acquisition of dating app Grindr by a Chinese company over national security concerns, NBC News reported Tuesday.

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) began investigating Grindr in July of last year because of unease over security of sensitive user data, which included the HIV status of millions of gay people, two sources familiar with the probe told NBC.

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Grindr's acquisition by Beijing Kunlun Tech in January 2018 immediately raised concerns from security experts who were worried China could harvest data from the service.

Kunlun is now reportedly trying to sell the app after pressure from the CFIUS.

Sens. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyTrump administration drops plan to face scan all travelers leaving or entering US Advocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide Protecting the future of student data privacy: The time to act is now MORE (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said last week that they agreed with the CFIUS's decision to push for the sale.

“We’ve previously raised concerns about Grindr’s privacy practices because this application serves uniquely vulnerable groups and collects highly sensitive information, including HIV status and sexual orientation,” the Democratic senators wrote in a statement obtained by NBC.

“In the wrong hands, this information can be misused in ways that threaten the safety and well-being of LGBTQ users around the world. These concerns are heightened when there is a risk of adversarial foreign actors being privy to the data in question.”

The CFIUS did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reported investigation.

Grindr also did not immediately respond to The Hill, but told NBC that they would not comment on the federal committee’s investigation.