Grindr has disabled its show distance setting in countries that have a history of anti-gay violence, after reports that authorities were using the app to hunt gay men.
The setting no longer works in Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan and Zimbabwe among others, and more will be added to the list.
Grindr told GSN, ‘In light of recent security allegations surrounding a user’s specific location, Grindr is taking measures and will be releasing updates to keep users secure in territories with anti-gay legislation.’
Grindr previously said it did not view the distance setting as a security risk.
He told GSN, ‘It is the right decision but definitely too late. They should have turned it off weeks ago instead of ignoring it. They simply risked lives and acted in no way responsibly.
‘Disabling it now is the only consequence as Apple knows about what’s going on. Otherwise they’d probably get kicked out of the App Store.
‘They knew about this issue for several months and took no action. If they provide a worldwide app for a niche/gay users, they have to think about the consequences. Knowing about risks and not taking action for so many weeks like they did is not acceptable.
‘Two weeks ago I decided to make it public, publishing a technical documentation and a demonstration. That should have been the moment when they finally stepped in. But it took two more weeks and a lot of news articles and calls to Apple to get it fixed.’
Grindr has more than 5 million users in 192 countries and 10,000 new users download the app every day.
See the video demonstration below: