Popular gay dating app Grindr has encountered a stumbling block, as the nation of Norway has struck the company with a 100 million-krone ($12 million) penalty. The reason: authorities in the Scandinavian nation argue that Grindr has violated privacy laws by not giving users control over their data.
Grindr dictates that all users accept the app’s policies, but does not disclose any information regarding sale of user data to third party companies. The European Union has made the protection of user data a priority in recent years, and has initiated a push to allow users more control over their private data. While Norway is not a member of the EU, the nation generally follows all laws established by the greater European governing body.
Bloomberg reports that because Grindr also contains information on the sexuality, gender identity and sexual interests of users, it puts their privacy at particular risk.
“Grindr is seen as a safe space, and many users wish to be discrete,” said Bjorn Erik Thon, director general of the Data Protection Authority in Norway. “Nonetheless, their data have been shared with an unknown number of third parties, and any information regarding this was hidden away.”
“We believe that the fact that someone is a Grindr user speaks to their sexual orientation, and therefore this constitutes special category data that merit particular protection,” Thon added.
The proposed $12 million fine would represent about 10% of Grindr’s yearly revenue. The Los Angeles-based company has yet to comment.