Norway is taking another swipe at Grindr in order to protect the privacy of the app’s users.
The Norway Consumer Council has recently ordered the dating app to remove any user data that was obtained through illegal means, according to the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“The Consumer Council is now asking the Data Protection Authority to impose measures to ensure that the company also must identify and delete illegally collected personal data,” the council said in a statement. “As long as this data is out there, it may be shared onward and be used by companies that monetize personal data for surveillance-based marketing and other purposes.”
This demand comes in response to the Norwegian Data Protection Authority filing a fine last year against Grindr. The Norwegian authority claimed that the company behind the Western Hemisphere’s biggest gay dating app had illegally sold users’ personal private information to third-party advertisers. As such, they asked Grindr to pay a 100 million Norwegian Kroner (approximately $11.7 million) fine.
“Our preliminary conclusion is that Grindr has shared user data to a number of third parties without legal basis,” Bjørn Erik Thon, director-general of the NDPA, said at the time. “Business models where users are pressured into giving consent, and where they are not properly informed about what they are consenting to, are not compliant with the law.”
So now, it seems that two major Norwegian organizations are vocalizing displeasure with how Grindr has handled its users’ private data. Despite that, no final decision has been made on whether Grindr will actually pay the fine or delete the data in question.
Meanwhile, Grindr states that the allegations are based on circumstances dating back to 2018. As such, the company argues it no longer engages in practices worth condemnation.
“We continually enhance our privacy practices in consideration of evolving privacy laws and regulations, and look forward to entering into a productive dialogue with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority,” Bill Shafton, Grindr’s VP of business and legal affairs, said in a statement to The Verge.