The Internet is not quite a safe place even if we are said that we can set our own privacy security terms. But this application, used by many gay people, leaks your exact location even when your location privacy is on.
Cybersecurity experts explained how Grindr is not safe when it comes to its users location. Researcher Nguyen Phong Hoang made the following experiment by following a wired journalist in New York: “Within fifteen minutes, had identified the intersection where I live. Ten minutes after that, he sent me a screenshot from Google Maps, showing a thin arc shape on top of my building, just a couple of yards wide… the outline fell directly on the part of my apartment where I sat on the couch talking to him.”
The app is based on showing the location, so it is almost impossible to hide your location except you turn the function off.
The study is very useful for the users of hookup apps.
“Through this study, we would like to particularly alert the users of Grindr, Jack’d, and Hornet as well as the users of other LBS [Location Based Service] in general about the risk of being located easily regardless of whether the recent location anonymization and location obfuscation approaches have been adopted.”
But the researchers explain how the users can avoid being tracked down or have their privacy invaded.
“We suggest that the user should take a step ahead to protect their own privacy from those vulnerabilities mentioned in this study. That is to use Fake-GPS applications like the one that we use in this study (probably also used by most of the adversaries) to hide the real location to an acceptable extent.”
The paper continues: “The user should not register account to those highly sensitive applications under his real name or even a part of his real name.
“Instead, the user should use information that could not be used to link the account with his real-life personally identifiable information.”