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Grindr disables location data over security loophole

Nick Duffy September 6, 2014

Hookup app Grindr has disabled the use of location data in some countries, over worries that users could be tracked down.

The company announced the change today, over concerns of a “flaw” which allows people to gauge users’ exact locations using the app’s data.

Despite internet users showing the process of tracking Grindr users in Russia, the company had previously said: “We don’t view this as a security flaw”.”

The company told PinkNews.co.uk: “Grindr is taking proactive measures to keep users safe in territories with a history of violence against the gay community.

“Any user who connects to Grindr is these countries will have their distance hidden automatically by default, which include Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

“There are many more countries already being protected by this location change, and we will continue to add more to this list.”

The change means that the users in specified countries will no longer be able to see their distance from each-other, though profiles will still be sorted by their distance away.

It added: “Users that are not located in countries with anti-gay legislation will be able to see distance in profiles, as we believe geo-location technology is the best way to help guys meet up simply and efficiently.

“However, should you wish to hide your location data, simply open the side menu, tap ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy’ and turn ‘Show Distance’ off.

“There is nothing that matters to us more than the safety and security of our user and the Grindr community. We will continue to find ways to keep our users private, especially in countries with anti-gay legislation.”

A notification has also been sent to every user of the app to explain the changes.

Software developer Chris Ward broke down the process of the flaw for PinkNews.co.uk last month.

 

 

More: Africa, Asia, data, Egypt, Europe, flaw, Grindr, Iran, liberia, location, loophole, Middle East, Nigeria, Russia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, security, Sudan, Zimbabwe

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