Gay hook-up app Jack’d acquired by Scruff after nude photo leak scandal
Gay hook-up app Jack’d has been acquired by rival Scruff, after paying a huge legal settlement for a security flaw that exposed the nude photos of users.
The apps, which both cater to queer men, announced a hook-up of their own on Tuesday (July 9).
The terms of the deal were not made public.
However, the acquisition comes just weeks after Jack’d agreed to pay a $240,000 settlement over a humiliating data breach.
The nude images of approximately 1,900 users were exposed by the flaw, first revealed in February, with Jack’d slammed for failing to implement reasonable protections to keep photos private.
Scruff’s US-based parent company Perry Street Software clarified that despite the new ownership, Jack’d “will continue to operate as a stand-alone app to ensure that it remains a distinct and supportive space.”
However, the deal will see the app’s architecture and privacy standards overhauled in line with Scruff as part of a wide-ranging redesign.
Jack’d will get an overhaul amid Scruff tie-up
Jack’d claims to have “five million global members,” while Scruff says it has “over 15 million users worldwide.”
Perry Street Software CEO Eric Silverberg said in a release: “This acquisition will provide Jack’d members with the same combination of technology and active moderation we have developed at SCRUFF, so that the Jack’d community members will be protected against harassment, spam bots, scammers, and risks while travelling.”
The exec added that “Jack’d members can expect to see the removal of all programmatic advertising, enhanced controls over privacy and security, and new features such as improved messaging, redesigned Match, richer search, and the ability to include video as part of member private albums or in chat.”
We recognise that the growth Jack’d experienced in building its app created some technical and logistical growing pains.
He continued: “Perry Street Software will work with Jack’d members to create a platform that enables them to create authentic connections on their own terms, whether they are looking for friends, dates, a hookup, or more.
“We recognise that the growth Jack’d experienced in building its app created some technical and logistical growing pains, and we are eager through this acquisition to provide Jack’d members with a much improved software experience.”
Scruff and Jack’d are two of the most popular dating apps marketed at GBT+ men, alongside Grindr and Hornet.
Gay hook-up app sector shaken by Grindr data row
The sector has come under sustained scrutiny following the sale of the largest app, Grindr, to a Chinese tech giant in 2017.
Grindr was put up for sale again this year after an intervention from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which labelled Beijing Kunlun Tech’s ownership a “national security risk.”
The app’s owners were accused of flouting data protection standards and sharing information on sexual preferences and HIV-status with third parties without consent.
Perry Street Software said: “We are a part of the community that we serve, and thus it is critical to us that we are always able to stand behind our decisions and business practices.
“It’s why we removed programmatic advertising from Scruff in 2018, why we don’t sell member data to shady data brokers, and why we support [EU data law] GDPR and current privacy-focused legislative efforts being considered now in Congress.”