5.3 million users of the Chinese lesbian dating app Rela have had their personal data exposed, potentially from a leak dating as back far as June 2018.
Information such as nicknames, birthdays and ethnicity was revealed due to an unsecure database, which the company claims has now been fixed.
The leak was detected by Victor Gevers, a security researcher from the safe internet group GDI Foundation (not affiliated with Global Dating Insights).
Gevers recently uncovered a Chinese database of “BreedReady” women, a list that seemed to some to be tracking women of childbearing age (it may be a poor translation of “wanting children”, however, and be linked to another dating service).
Accoridng to TechCrunch, Gevers said: “The privacy of five-plus million LGBTQ+ people face a lot of social challenges in China because their are no laws protecting them from discrimination.
“This data leak that has been open for years make it even more damaging for the people involved who were exposed [sic].”
While homosexuality is no longer illegal nor classed as a mental illness in China, the lack of laws against sexuality-based discrimination could make this leak very dangerous for some victims.
Since Grindr was bought out by Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Group, international users have been concerned about the safety of their data.
The US Government has been putting pressure on Kunlun to sell, calling its ownership a national security risk, and a deal is now expected in the near future.
Read more here.