Grindr sold user data to ad networks for years

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Between 2017 and 2020, Grindr sold user location data to advertisers, among other things. In some cases, this made it possible to trace the identity of members. Reportedly, these historical records would still be up for sale.

That writes the American newspaper The Wall Street Journal on the basis of insiders.

Identify Grindr Users

According to the newspaper, location data, age and gender of users were offered on online auction platforms, among other things. Advertisers could bid on these dates here. The ad networks then used this information to serve members with personalized ads from nearby businesses.

Personal information such as names, residential addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses has not been sold to ad networks, according to The Wall Street Journal. But to find out the location of someone, this data is not necessary. Location data is sufficient for this: if someone often logs in at the same place, there is a good chance that the person in question lives nearby.

The American daily cites a Catholic cleric as an example. At the end of last year, it became clear that he was using Grindr. It was possible to trace him on the basis of similar user data. In other cases, too, people were able to identify the identities of Grindr users. For example, if two smartphones were in close proximity for a longer period of time, it is obvious that a date is going on. Finally, location data can be used to map patterns, habits and routines.

Grindr shares less information with advertisers

Patrick Lenihan, a Grindr

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