Chinese gaming company Kunlun’s acquisition of popular gay dating app Grindr has prompted privacy concerns.
According to the Daily Mail, the acquisition “has sparked fears that China’s spymasters could gain access to millions of users’ information.”
Last year, Grindr assured users in a blog post that the Chinese government “will not have access to your account.”
“We want to keep it real with you (and we don’t want anyone spreading crazy conspiracy theories), so here’s what you need to know,” they declared. “Your privacy remains paramount. Nothing changes with how we will protect your personal information.”
“The Chinese government will not have access to your account,” Grindr continued. “Beijing Kunlun is not owned by the Chinese government. This sale doesn’t change how Grindr safeguards our user data.”
However, the Daily Mail explained that “some cybersecurity experts aren’t so sure,” pointing out “that the Chinese government is able to exert significant pressure and control on the country’s private enterprises.”
“Grindr’s assurances notwithstanding… the risk to Grindr users that the Chinese government will know their secrets has just increased,” claimed the Washington Post‘s Josh Rogin on Friday in an article titled “Can the Chinese Government Now Get Access to Your Grindr Profile?”
Despite this, Grindr’s Vice President of Marketing Peter Sloterdyk claimed that the company still remains based in the United States, and is therefore subject to US law.
“Sloterdyk said the company had never disclosed user information to the Chinese government and does not intend to do so, and has sophisticated technology in place to protect its users’ privacy,” the Daily Mail reported.