Grindr, the largest dating platform for gay men globally, faces legal action for purportedly disclosing confidential user information, including HIV status, to external entities.

The case, initiated in London’s High Court, alleges the use of “covert tracking technology” to illegally share delicate data with advertisers.

The legal team, Austen Hays, are representing over 650 plaintiffs, claim that thousands of UK users have been impacted. Grindr has countered, asserting that they will “respond vigorously” to these allegations and emphasizing that their privacy practices are taken very seriously. The company contends that the accusations are rooted in a misunderstanding of past practices, dating back over four years.


Austen Hays anticipates significant damages, with total claims potentially exceeding £100,000 if successful. Chaya Hanoomanjee, leading the case for Austen Hays, expressed that the claimants suffered considerable anguish from the non-consensual sharing of their private data. “Grindr owes compensation to those in the LGBTQ+ community affected by this breach,” she stated.

The dating app, which engages 13 million users monthly, shows high activity levels in the UK, with an Ofcom report from May 2023 highlighting approximately 924,000 local users. The report also noted that users spent an average of nearly seven hours on the app in a single month.

The lawsuit details that the alleged data sharing, mainly before April 3, 2018, and between May 25, 2018, and April 7, 2020, breached UK data privacy laws by divulging information on users’ ethnicity and sexual orientation. Data analytics firms Apptimize and Localytics are named as parties that accessed the sensitive data, which was purportedly used by an undefined number of third parties to tailor advertisements. Moreover, it is claimed that some of these firms might have retained the data for their purposes.

In 2018, it was revealed that Grindr shared user data, including HIV status, with Apptimize and Localytics, which were hired to enhance app functionality. Although Grindr ceased sharing HIV data post-outcry and maintained that it never sold data to advertisers, the practice drew significant criticism.

Further complicating Grindr’s data handling reputation, the company was fined £5.5 million in 2021 by Norwegian authorities for GDPR violations and was reprimanded by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office in 2022 for inadequate data protection practices.