Grindr Receives EU Privacy Complaint Over User ID Method

Grindr has been reported for allegedly flouting the European Union’s data privacy rules by requiring users to submit a picture of themselves along with a government-issued ID or passport in order to exercise their rights to find out what information the online dating app holds about them. The leading LGBTQ app received a complaint filed with Austria’s data protection regulator. 

The complaint alleges the Grindr collects more data to verify identities than required, and goes against Grindr’s ability to allow users to remain anonymous.

An unidentified Grindr user who’s being represented by None of Your Business (NOYB) — a prominent consumer advocacy nonprofit started by privacy activist Max Schrems — is pushing DSB, the Austrian data protection authority, to probe Grindr’s method for verifying the identities of EU users who request information that they’re allowed to seek under the bloc’s General Data Protection Regulation about what personal data the company has on them and with whom the company is sharing that information.

“It is ridiculous to authenticate ‘Hunk 69’ with a government ID, when Grindr is designed not to know the real name of its users,” Schrems said. 

The NOYB-driven complaint comes after the Norwegian Data Protection Authority’s January announcement that it intends to fine Grindr $11.7 million for user privacy violations. The Norwegian regulator has claimed that Grindr violated the GDPR by requiring EU users to accept its privacy policy in its entirety, rather than specifically asking them if they wanted to consent to the sharing of their data with third parties.

Grindr has refused to comment on the complaint.