The Norwegian Data Protection Authority said on Tuesday that the dating app Grinder faces a record fine of 100 million crowns ($ 14.2M CAD) in Norway for illegal data sharing.
While presenting itself as the world’s largest dating network for gay, bisexual, trans and queer people, Grinder works with third parties, GPS coordinates, elements of his customers’ profile, and the fact that they use the app to indicate their sexual preferences.
“Our primary conclusion is that Grinder has provided personal data about its customers to a number of third parties without any legal basis,” Datatilsinet Director Jన్rn Eric Thన్n said in a statement.
According to the authority, this method is contrary to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implemented in the European Union in May 2018.
The authority therefore decided to impose a fine representing 10% or $ 10 million of global turnover on the grinder to an unheard of level in the Nordic country.
Grinder has until Feb. 15 to assert his position before final approval.
The charges against him were before April 2020, from the date the application changed its conditions of use.
In an email to AFP, Grinder highlighted the change.
“We are constantly improving our privacy practices in light of changing laws and regulations,” he said, adding that he was “looking forward” to engaging in a “productive dialogue” with DatatilCine.
In January 2020, the Norwegian Consumer Council complained about five other applications, including Grinder and the Twitter-controlled Mopab, for violating personal data protection rules.
On Tuesday he hailed it as a “historic victory for privacy”.
In Brussels, the European Bureau of Consumer Unions (BUC), a federation of consumer associations in 32 countries, also welcomed the Norwegian statement, which, according to him, shows that GDPR “has teeth”.
“This is great news, which clearly indicates to users that it is illegal to collect and share their data 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, without their permission,” said its CEO Monique Goynes.
Other complaints raised by the Norwegian Consumer Council are still being investigated, DatatilCinet said.