Norway fined the Grinder dating app $ 11.7 million for breach of privacy

Gay dating app Grindr faces a fine of over $ 10 million from Norwegian regulators for not obtaining consent from users before sharing their personal information with advertising companies, in violation of the strict privacy rules of the European Union.

The Norwegian data privacy watchdog said Tuesday that it notified Grindr LLC of the draft decision to issue a fine of Norwegian kroner 100 million ($ 11.7 million), equivalent to 10% of the US company’s global revenue. .

The data protection authority took action following a complaint from the Norwegian Consumer Council that personal data had been illegally shared for marketing purposes. The board detailed in a report last year how Grindr and other dating apps leaked personal information to ad technology companies to use for targeted ads in ways that the board said violated the EU’s strict privacy rules. .

Norway is not a member of the EU but closely mirrors the bloc’s rules and regulations.

“The Norwegian data protection authority considers this to be a serious case,” said Bjorn Erik Thon, the authority’s director general. “Users have not been able to exercise real and effective control over the sharing of their data.” Grindr did not immediately respond to an email request for comment from the AP. His spokesman in Norway, Bjoern Richard Johansen, confirmed to broadcaster NRK that he had received a letter from regulatory authorities to notify you of the fine.

The company has until February 15 to provide feedback, which the watchdog will consider in its final decision.

“Grindr is looking forward to engaging in dialogue with the Norwegian data protection authority,” Johansen told NRK, but said the company did not make any further comments.

The watchdog came to the preliminary conclusion that Grindr was sharing user data with a number of third parties with no legal basis. The data included GPS location, user’s profile information, and the fact that users are on Grindr, which could indicate their sexual orientation.

Sharing such information could put someone at risk of being targeted, the authority said in its communication to Grindr.

The fact that a person “is a Grindr user can lead to prejudice and discrimination even without revealing their specific sexual orientation,” he said.

The Data Protection Authority said the way Grindr asked users for permission to use their information went against the GDPR requirements for “valid consent”. Users were unable to opt out of data sharing with third parties and were forced to accept Grindr’s privacy policy in its entirety, he said, adding that users were not adequately informed about data sharing.

The watchdog is still investigating five “ad tech” companies that have received data from Grindr, including TwitterMoPub, the mobile app advertising platform, which has more than 160 partners.

The Norwegian Consumer Council welcomed the fine.

“We hope this marks the starting point for many similar decisions against companies that engage in the purchase and sale of personal data,” said Finn Myrstad, the group’s director of digital policy.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

News Highlights:

  • The board detailed in a report last year how Grindr and other dating apps leaked personal information to advertising technology companies to use for targeted ads in ways the board said violated the GDPR’s strict privacy rules. EU. The Norwegian data protection authority considers this to be a serious case, said Bjorn Erik Thon, director general of the authorities.
  • Norway fined the Grinder dating app $ 11.7 million for breach of privacy