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Gay dating app settles case of exposing users' nude photos

San Francisco

01-July-2019

Gay dating app 'Jack'd' has settled a complaint for $240,000 after its parent company failed to secure private and nude photos of approximately 1,900 members of the LGBTQ community online.

Owned by the US-based company Online Buddies, 'Jack'd' has over 6 million users around the world and it describes itself as the world's 'most culturally diverse gay dating app.' 

However, earlier in February 2018, a privacy problem was reported to the senior management of Online Buddies and while the company immediately recognized the seriousness of its vulnerabilities, the US-based company failed to fix the problems for an entire year, The Verge reported on Sunday. 

The exposed data included nude photos and pictures that revealed a user's location - potentially putting them at risk of blackmail or even arrest in some countries.

New York's attorney general Letitia James who settled the case also noted that the privacy fault was confirmed in an investigation despite which Online Buddies delayed fixing the issue for almost a year, the report said. 

As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to implement a 'comprehensive security programme' to avoid sensitive issues like data breach in the future. 

Last year in April, another popular gay dating app 'Grindr' shared users' HIV status with app optimization companies. Later, the app's acquisition by a Chinese company raised national security issues. 

Tinder had to address a serious login vulnerability last year and a security researcher separately found that hackers could access some unencrypted user photos.

Launched in 2010, Jack'd is a location-based chat and dating app catering to gay and bisexual men. It is available for download on Android, iPhone and Windows phones globally, including in India.  IANS