US verification app Grindr has been fined NOK 65 million by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority for distributing personal data about its users. The company is now suing the Norwegian authorities.
In December 2021, the company was slapped with an infringement fee of NOK 65 million by the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. They believed the app had disclosed personal information about its users to advertising partners.
The decision was appealed, but the charges were upheld last month, which is why the company is now suing.
– Grindr looks forward to trying the case in court. The consequences of upholding the decision by the Data Protection Authority and the Norwegian Personal Protection Board are that providers offering services to the LGBTQ+ community will have to adhere to stricter rules than their competitors offering services to other groups. This contravenes the prohibition of discrimination in the European Economic Area Agreement, says lawyer Eva Jarbeck, who represents Grindr.
According to the company, dating app Grindr targets a wide range of people with different sexual orientations and gender expressions.
– Grindr does not agree that being a Grindr user in and of itself reveals a person’s sexuality or orientation. Grindr users identify with a variety of different orientations, including gay, bisexual, and asexual, and anyone can use the app regardless of gender and sexual orientation. Therefore, the limited information shared with advertising partners did not address or disclose a user’s sexual orientation as defined in the GDPR, Jarbeck says.
I think the decision is correct
Director of the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, Line Cole, says in a statement to NRC They believe that the court’s decision is correct.
-We have taken note of the summons and will follow the case closely. We note that privacy is once again under pressure and being challenged by big commercial players. These actors have significant resources and legal power that they use to defend their own business model, a model that more and more authorities are strongly criticizing, Cole writes.
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