could grindr be a national security threat?
The U.S. government seems to think so.
Photo via YouTube.
Gay dating app Grindr is up for sale, going once, going twice, to the highest bidder. According to Reuters, the Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd., who have owned the app since 2016, was urged to sell under pressure from the U.S. government after the Federal Committee on Foreign Investment raised concerns over Chinese ownership of American's personal data. The specific concerns were not revealed, though paranoia about Chinese spying is at an all time high, and the government has been increasingly wary of the safety of public data, especially when U.S. military or intelligence officers might be involved. Reasonably so. Wouldn’t want those cheeky nudes in the wrong hands.
However, the app has never been totally secure. Last March, NBC revealed that a number of security breaches exposed the information of more than 3 million users, including private messages and location data. And in April, Buzzfeed News reported that Grindr had been sharing the HIV status of its users to third party companies without consent.
Grindr was the first gay social networking app, and now has over 27 million users worldwide. This news comes just as the app celebrates its ten year anniversary, but while Grindr may shortly be in new hands, it looks like it isn’t going anywhere any time soon. “Stay tuned as we celebrate throughout the year with new features, special events, and more,” they said on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on i-D US.