A proposed data privacy lawsuit against Grindr will likely be moved into private arbitration, a prosecuting attorney on the case has reluctantly admitted.
The gay dating app is accused of sharing users’ most sensitive information with third-party advertisers. Some of the information that was believed to be distributed includes sexual orientation, HIV status and exact geolocation.
At the end of July, Grindr appealed to the New York Federal Court and requested the case be moved into arbitration, meaning it would be settled privately outside of the courts. It claimed that users agreed to arbitrate such issues when they accepted the terms and conditions.
Spencer Sheehan, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told the Bay Area Reporter: “Unfortunately, many courts usually go in the direction of arbitration. It has permeated so many aspects of society.
“Arbitration is a particularly awful thing because it has eliminated the courts having a role in protecting people. Whether it’s a phone contract or a job, it puts the process behind closed doors.
“It’s offensive that [Grindr would] disclose people’s most personal and private information, particularly a group subjected to unfair and discriminatory treatment. There should have been a higher level of care.”
The case began at the very start of the year, when the Norwegian Consumer Council published a report alleging that several major dating apps were violating GDPR. Grindr, Tinder and OkCupid were all accused of passing on data to numerous advertisers.
Match Group previously defended its actions by explaining it does work with marketing agencies, but ensures it always remains compliant with privacy laws.
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