Grindr Allowed Third-Party Companies to See Users’ HIV Status

Grindr Logo (TechCrunch)

Grindr Logo (TechCrunch)

Yesterday, “BuzzFeed” broke the news that Grindr, the dating app aimed at gay men, had been selling users’ data to two third-party companies. Among the data sold were users’ HIV status.

Grindr admitted that it sold data to Apptimize and Localytics. (No word on how these companies were using the data.) Grindr users can provide their HIV status and date of their last HIV test in their profile on the app. The two third-party companies would’ve had easily identifiable information because the HIV status data was sent along with “users’ GPS data, phone ID and email.”

Norwegian research nonprofit company SINTEF was the first entity to find the problem.  Though Grinder said that the information sent was encrypted (simply put, made into a code that’s not easily broken), the company also revealed that the data provided from Grindr could be further hacked.

In recent months, Grindr has made more strides related to HIV. The app nows offers ad-targeting to HIV-testing websites, and users can sign up for HIV-test reminders.

Though Grindr announced plans later yesterday to discontinue sharing HIV data with the third-party companies, the damage has already been done. It will be interesting to see if this data breach will affect the app’s number of users in the near future.

Grindr reports 3.6M+ “daily active users” worldwide.

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“Wonder Woman 2” Will Be the First Film to Use New Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines

Gal Gadot in 'Wonder Woman' (Buzzfeed)

Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman’ (Buzzfeed)

We have another reason to love the next “Wonder Woman” movie! It’s been announced that the film will be the first to implement new anti-sexual harassment guidelines.

Drawn up by the Producers Guild of America (PGA) in response to the wave of sexual harassment coming to light, the guidelines will provide anti-sexual harassment training to those working on the movie and support to those who report harassment. These guidelines will apply across the film and TV industries. The guidelines were created by the PGA’s new Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force.

It’s great to see the entertainment industry taking action to combat sexual harassment, and I hope these guidelines will be widely adopted.

“Wonder Woman 2” will be released in 2019.

Nonbinary Teen Barred from Opening Bank Account

Kaelin Farnish and their father, Keith (BuzzFeed)

Kaelin Farnish and their father, Keith (BuzzFeed)

Here’s your daily dose of LGBT+ discrimination: A Scottish Borders teen has been denied the right to open a bank account on the grounds that they do not identify with a sole gender.

Seventeen-year-old Kaelin Farnish tried to open online accounts at several banks, but kept getting stopped by the gender question. Farnish identifies as non-binary (i.e. defines as neither male nor female), and uses the pronouns “they” and “them.” Farnish was told at many of the banks that they would have to go to the bank in person to make the change.

As gender non-conforming individuals become more commonplace and visible, I hope that institutions begin making changes to policies such as this one.

 

How Many Media Company Employees Had Ashley Madison Accounts?

Ashley Madison homepage (Ashley Madison)

Ashley Madison homepage (Ashley Madison)

Happy Friday! Ashley Madison: It’s the hack that keeps on giving. Every day brings a new joy. And here’s this one: The good people at “Gawker” (who’ve been doing a great job covering this whole thing) took a deep-dive into the data, all 9.7 GBs of it. Why? Well, to see how was dumb enough to use a work email as their AM registration email. (Personally, I’m surprised that nobody got called on the carpet after their network got wind of that verification email in their inbox.)

Now, you’d think that most people would know to use a throwaway email for this kind of thing, right? You’d think that, and you’d be wrong. At the time of the data dump, “Wired” reported that 15K+ domains belonging to the government and military were found, comprising .04% of the total emails found.

Here’s what Sam Biddle at “Gawker” found. (Incidentally, no emails registered to the Gawker domain were found).

'Gawker' Ashley Madison Email Data Analysis (Gawker)

‘Gawker’ Ashley Madison Email Data Analysis (Gawker)

So yeah, have some common sense as to when to use your work email. Have a great holiday weekend!

 

Thursday Trends: Young Women and #GrannyHair

Rihanna (Her Interest)

Rihanna (Her Interest)

Kylie Jenner did it. So did Rihanna and Kelly Osbourne. Of course, Lady Gaga, trendsetter that she is, rocked it back in 2010.

Grey hair.

Once upon a time, it was unseemly for women to go out sporting anything other than a full mane of brown, black, red or blonde hair. Grey was seen as unnatural and, at the same time, a little too natural. It was shoved to the side, to the back of the mind, ignoring the tell-tale side of aging.

Right now, women are embracing the color whole-heartedly, and running towards the grey instead of away from it. A recent BuzzFeed post shows how young women are riding the trend, especially seen on Instgram with the hashtag #GrannyHair.

But why now? Why is this grey hair’s big moment?

We seem to be in the midst of a “revering our elders” moment. (Real talk, though: that needs to happen every day. Call your grandparents, people!) The fashion world has been pioneering this lately. French fashion house Céline tapped 80-year-old essayist Joan Didion to be their latest model, and Saint Laurent is using 71-year-old Joni Mitchell. The major beauty players are doing the same, with 64-year-old Jessica Lange for Marc Jacobs and 69-year-old Helen Mirren for L’Oreal Paris. In this year’s Milan Fashion Week, trends skewed towards something your grandmother might don for a social event.

This makes total sense in terms of how current demographics are shifting. The baby boomer generation, born between 1946 and 1964, are turning officially “old” at a rapid clip. As of 2011, they numbered 77M+ and are “the largest generation in American history.” Baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011, and won’t stop until the end of 2029.

Here’s how CNN puts this demographic’s strength in numbers in terms of future projected growth:

The 65+ population segment is projected to double to 71.5 million by 2030 and grow to 86.7 million by 2050.

With this projected growth will come a lot of societal changes (I’ve always said that this isn’t a generation that’ll age quietly). We’re beginning to see initial impacts with how we view that generation and the ones before. For example, It used to be that you couldn’t be seen as a sexual being after a certain age, that you were out of the running in the race to make babies. And while that second part might be true, the first has been proven false by many women over “a certain age.” Case in point: see every instance where a late-night talk show host jokes about Helen Mirren. They’re always saying she’s hot (and she is!). Society has long seen older men with grey hair as sexy, and is now (finally!) coming around to the idea that older women are hot too.

Young women coloring their hair grey even has a historical precedent. In her book “Seductress: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love” author Betsy Prioleau mentions that young women in the French court used to powder their hair grey to emulate their elders. (If you’ve seen Sofia Coppola’s “Marie Antoinette,” the director subtly includes this detail, noticeable in some shots.)

Overall, this trend really points to a shift in how we’re seeing aging. People seem to be more open to the fact that life doesn’t stop after a certain age. And young women are celebrating their elders with their grey hair, natural or not.