Grindr Sold Users’ Location Data for Years, Many Have Outed Catholic Priest: Report

Grindr Sold Users’ Location Data for Years, Many Have Outed Catholic Priest: Report

(Link): Grindr Sold Users’ Location Data for Years, Many Have Outed Catholic Priest: Report

By Ariel Zilber
May 2, 2022

Grindr, the popular gay dating app, sold data that tracked the precise movements of millions of its users beginning in 2017, which may have led to the outing of a senior Catholic priest, according to a report.

The company told The Wall Street Journal that it ceased sharing data with advertisers beginning two years ago by cutting off the flow of any location information.

The data, which was purchased by clients of a mobile advertising company, allowed unknown third parties to know sensitive information about users, including whom they were dating, where they lived and worked, and where they spent their free time.

The Journal reported that the data did not include details such as names or phone numbers.

…“Grindr does not share users’ precise location, we do not share user profile information, and we do not share even industry standard data like age or gender.”

Last year, a senior Catholic priest resigned after he was outed as a user of Grindr thanks to information which was circulated in ad networks.

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, who was the top administrator for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, quit after a Catholic news site published a story detailing how he used Grindr and frequented gay bars.

Before 2020, Grindr shared location-based data with ad networks who would tailor targeted ads that promoted “hyperlocal” businesses like restaurants, bars, or hotels. Grindr executives at the time did not believe that the data-sharing would pose any risk to user privacy, according to the Journal.


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