Grindr has transformed the dating scene for queer men since it launched in 2009, and has become the most popular gay dating app in the world. Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd fully acquired the California-based app in 2018. Due to a widespread online dating scam targeting the LGBT community, members from gay dating sites like Grindr, GayFriendFinder, Adam4Adam ask their online date to verify their identity first to ensure that they’re safe before proceeding with online and offline encounters. Founded in 2008 by Tsinghua University graduate Zhou Yahui, Kunlun also owns Qudian, a Chinese consumer credit provider, and Xianlai Huyu, a Chinese mobile gaming company.
Though based in West Hollywood, Calif., the Grindr app is actually owned by Chinese gaming giant Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd., which acquired a majority stake in Grindr in 2016 for $93 million before purchasing the rest of it last year. Prejudicial language has flourished on Grindr since its earliest days, with explicit and derogatory declarations such as “no Asians,” “no blacks,” “no fatties,” “no femmes” and “no trannies” commonly appearing in user profiles. That said, I sometimes feel grateful that gay dating has gone digital.
Grindr and other dating apps use your phone’s location to match you up with people in your area. Most gays out in the boondocks aren’t too keen about posting their intimate details on a popular app with the possibility that any person can talk to them. Grindr could also be used to identify, for example, government and military personnel who could be pressured to reveal state secrets if they shared sensitive information on the app. Grindr: This iPhone app locates other users close to you so that you two can meet on a street corner before getting it on.
3. Don’t waste time chatting online forever – Before meeting potential matches that you met through online dating sites, of course, get to know them a bit. While the film’s implementation of Grindr’s GPS tracking is novel, it never quite understands its character and the relationship that he creates with the app. Queer-friendly dating apps and sites are multiplying, and there are even a few that are — wait for it — pretty damn good. The first reports date back to 2014 , and after that, controversies followed in 2015 , 2016, 2017 and 2018 However, it seems that until today, Grindr has not taken the privacy and security of its users seriously.
To mark a decade of Grindr, I spoke to some of its users about their experiences on the app that changed gay life forever, the one they won’t forget. What it does basically is it verifies users that registers to a website or app whether they are real people and not bots, and also verifies if they are using their real identity or not. While some dating apps have developed something of a negative reputation for their emphasis on no strings attached sexual encounters, it’s not quite so black and white. Update, 10:14 p.m.: Adds Grindr’s announcement it is no longer sharing HIV status data and comments from Grindr Head of Security Bryce Case.
According to a ranking compiled by gay-rights advocate Evan Goldstein (founder and CEO of medical practice Bespoke Surgical), some of the best cities for members of the LGBT community to make romantic connections include New Orleans, Austin, and Tampa. Kunlun took over Grindr through two separate deals between 2016 and 2018 without submitting the acquisition for CFIUS review, according to the sources, making it vulnerable to such an intervention. How, as a hardworking drag queen taking part in a gay sexual culture that can sometimes abhor femininity, do you say to a stranger: Come over, but the house is covered in glitter?” The threat of an aggressive response has been ever-present.
That’s why, among other things, Grindr utilises highly sophisticated, state of the art data encryption, industry-leading security protocols, and extensive network penetration and application testing. The pair spoke at DEFCON last fall on the malicious use WiFi security cameras and will be presenting at AppSec Cali this year on various mobile application vulnerabilities. Privacy International said it would be hypocritical just to talk about China’s activities, pointing out that US agencies could just as easily obtain user data.