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AHF Blasts Grindr For Sharing User HIV Status

Tuesday Apr 3, 2018
AHF Blasts Grindr For Sharing User HIV Status

AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) harshly criticized the popular gay hookup app Grindr after Buzzfeed News reported that Grindr has been sharing its users' information-including users' HIV status and 'last tested date'-with Apptimize and Localytics, two companies which help optimize apps. The Buzzfeed News story noted, that, "Because the HIV information is sent together with users' GPS data, phone ID, and email, it could identify specific users and their HIV status."

"Grindr's action with its clients' data appears 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, President of 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."

According to the Buzzfeed piece, "Grindr was founded in 2009 and has been increasingly branding itself as the go-to app for healthy hookups and gay cultural content. ... The app offers free ads for HIV-testing sites, and last week, it debuted an optional feature that would remind users to get tested for HIV every three to six months."

"It is extremely unfortunate that those men who have been courageous enough to share their HIV status, be it positive or negative, on their Grindr profiles, may have now had that most personal data indiscriminately shared by Grindr," added Weinstein. "We laud those Grindr members for their courage and challenge Grindr to quickly get its act together to restore the confidentiality all members deserve and should expect with their data from Grindr."

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