Grindr fine cut to $7 mln in Norway data privacy case

by Reuters
Wednesday, 15 December 2021 07:25 GMT

FILE PHOTO: The Grindr app is seen on a mobile phone in this photo illustration taken in Shanghai, China, March 28, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/Illustration/File Photo

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In a report, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) watchdog said that Grindr shared detailed user data with third parties involved in advertising and profiling

OSLO, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Norway's Data Protection Authority (DPA) has handed dating app Grindr a reduced 65 million Norwegian crown ($7.14 million) fine over illegal disclosure of user data to advertisers, saying the company had moved to address issues surrounding its practices.

The DPA's initial plan last January was to fine Grindr 100 million crowns, but it said on Wednesday that it had reduced the amount because of new information on the company's finances and changes Grindr has made "to remedy the deficiencies in their previous consent-management platform".

United States-based Grindr, which describes itself as the world's largest social networking app for gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that it strongly disagrees with the decision to fine the company.

"Our conclusion is that Grindr has disclosed user data to third parties for behavioural advertisement without a legal basis," the head of the DPA's international department, Tobias Judin, said in a statement.

The agency concluded that user consent collected by Grindr between July 2018 and April 2020 for the use of private data was not valid, he added.

Grindr in January told Reuters it had changed its data consent practices. A company representative was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets guidelines for the collection, processing and sharing of personal information in the European Union as well as in non-EU Norway.

The Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) watchdog said in a January 2020 report that Grindr shared detailed user data with third parties involved in advertising and profiling. The data included details such as users' IP addresses, GPS locations, age and gender.

In some cases, widespread sharing of personal data can become a matter of physical safety if users are located and targeted in countries where homosexuality is illegal, the NCC said at the time.

Grindr has the right to appeal the DPA's decision within three weeks. ($1 = 9.1083 Norwegian crowns)

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik Editing by David Goodman)