Kunlun Tech has just over 12 months to complete the sale of Grindr, as per the agreement it reached with a US government agency.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), which assesses international acquisitions of American businesses, had ordered the Chinese gaming company to relinquish its ownership of the gay dating app in March.
This was due to fears that its involvement in Grindr was a potential national security risk, with users’ personal information and data possibly being leaked to the Chinese government.
If Kunlun Tech don’t find a buyer by 30th June 2020 it will be forced to sign the app over to a US trustee.
As reported by ABC News, advocacy group Privacy International explained: “As government officials, including US military and intelligence services officers, may be Grindr users, the US government is right to be concerned about the possibility of a foreign government gaining access to the most intimate aspects of their lives.
“The Chinese government has passed what’s known as ‘data localisation’ laws, which force companies to store data in their territory, opening up legal and technical avenues for access to their data centres.”
Grindr will also not be able to send any sensitive information back Chinese organisations once the deadline has passed.
The app was caught sharing the HIV statuses of its users with third-party product optimisation companies in 2018, but soon stopped the practice soon after the news came to light.
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