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Exclusive: Behind Grindr's doomed hookup in China, a data misstep and scramble to make up


Added 05-22-19 07:03:02am EST - “Early last year, Grindr LLC's Chinese owner gave some Beijing-based enginee...” - Reuters.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Reuters.com: “Exclusive: Behind Grindr's doomed hookup in China, a data misstep...”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

(Reuters) - Early last year, Grindr LLC’s Chinese owner gave some Beijing-based engineers access to personal information of millions of Americans such as private messages and HIV status, according to eight former employees, prompting U.S. officials to ask it to sell the dating app for the gay community.

After taking full control of Grindr in January 2018, Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd stepped up management changes and consolidated operations to cut costs and expand operations in Asia, one former employee familiar with the decision said.

In the process, some of the company’s engineers in Beijing got access to the Grindr database for several months, eight former employees said.

While it is known that data privacy concerns prompted the crackdown on Kunlun, interviews with over a dozen sources with knowledge of Grindr’s operations, including the former employees, for the first time shed light on what the company actually did to draw U.S. ire and how it then tried to save its deal.

Reuters found no evidence that the app’s database was misused. Nevertheless, the decision to give its engineers in Beijing access to Grindr’s database proved to be a misstep for Kunlun, one of the largest Chinese mobile gaming companies.

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