Grindr Dating app acquisition by Chinese firm raises data security concerns


Cybersecurity experts of the UK argue that the purchase of Grindr dating app by a Chinese firm might raise data security concerns as it might expose the user data to potential hackers and Chinese intelligence.

Remember these concerns have started amid the US probe that the acquisition of the gay dating app by a Beijing based firm might attract unwanted trouble to users as the app might hold sensitive information such as the user’s HIV test results.

“There’s a high probability of the info landing in wrong hands who might later indulge in malevolent activities such as ‘Blackmailing’ the victims which could lead to serious consequences”, says Prof. Alan Woodward, a computer security expert at the University of Surrey.

Note 1- In Jan’18 US authorities started a probe into the acquisition deal of the Grindr app by Beijing based company Kunlun Tech which could then become the sole proprietor of data related to Grindr’s 3 million active users/day.

Note 2- As the US President Donald Trump is looking to make America the Greatest, the Trump administration has kept a tab on the deals where US companies are being purchased by China-based firms.

As the relationship between UK and US are very strong, the British NCSC is about to coordinate with US authorities in carrying out the probe, so as to ensure that the data of Grindr’s UK users are not at risk.

Note 3- Grindr is an online dating app exclusively devoted to gays, bi, transgenders, and queer people. As it runs both on Apple iOS and Google Android devices, it has managed to gather over 27 million users since its launch in 2009.

Note 4- During the same time last year, a Norway based non-profit organization called SINTEF issued a media statement that Grindr might be sharing HIV status details of its users with some third party healthcare firms which triggered a question on Grindr’s privacy policy as a whole.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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