Justin's HIV Journal

Monday, April 2, 2018

Grindr Users' HIV Statuses Exposed!!!






Grindr, which is a major Queer dating app recently said that they would offer their users a feature that reminded the users to get tested for HIV.  But one week after they announced they would offer this feature it was leaked that Grindr was sharing its users’ HIV status and the last date tested with the companies Apptimize and Localytics.  Apptimize and Localytics are social marketing companies that basically help apps like Grindr become more popular and attractive. 

There is more to worry about.  Along with HIV status and last day tested.  Information on users such as GPS data, phone ID, and email, an individual’s status could easily be discovered.

Buzzfeed was informed by the Norwegian researcher from the non-profit SINTEF that “The HIV status is linked to all the other information. That’s the main issue,” said Pultier. “I think this is the incompetence of some developers that just send everything, including HIV status.”

Before this incident Grindr yet again had another security flaw.  User were able to see who had blocked them.  NBC reported that, “The security flaw was identified by Trever Faden, CEO of the property management startup Atlas Lane, after he created a website called C*ckblocked” (the asterisk is part of the name of the service), NBC News reported. 

That flaw also allowed users access to others’ location data, which NBC News reported could “lead to increased harassment — especially in places where homosexuality is criminalized.”

Futhermore, NBC stated. “His website allowed users to see who blocked them on Grindr after they entered their Grindr username and password. Once they did so, Faden was able to gain access to a trove of user data that is not publicly available on user profiles, including unread messages, email addresses, deleted photos, and the location data of users, some of whom have opted to not share their locations publicly.” 

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