Only hours after gay smartphone app “Grindr” attempted to fix a glitch in its system that has already outed the exactly location of over 600,000 gay men in countries like North Korea, Iran, Russia, and Brunei, I was able to locate the exact position of dozens of gay men in Iran and Brunei, two of the most repressive anti-gay regimes in the world.
As you may recall, Grindr is an app that lets gay men find other gay men to date, befriend, or hook up with. The app works by finding your location, then showing you other gay men who are in your area.
While it does not show you where the other Grindr users are, it does show you their distance from you. However, it does not say which direction they’re in, making the distance revelation relatively safe, unless it’s for short distances like 100 feet.
Two weeks ago, a European Grindr user uncovered a glitch in the system that permitted anyone with an Internet connection to discover the exact location of any Grindr user online anywhere in the world.
As a result, I was able to locate the exact position of Grindr users in Russia, Iran, Brunei and anti-gay countries.
While Grindr’s only statement on the matter to date is that “we do not view this as a security flaw,” Grindr did turn off its location-disclosure functionality briefly last night, only to turn it back on again this morning.
The exact location of gay men currently on Grindr in Tehran, Iran, a country in which gay men are put to death. It appears, according to the anonymous Grindr user who uncovered the security breach, that Grindr is blocking the IP address of anyone attempting to find the exact location of its users. (Grindr is also requiring you to register a new account before massively violatig the privacy of their users.) But if Grindr thinks this is a sufficient fix, they might want to have a chat with the following gay men I just found in Tehran and Brunei. All you have to do, apparently, is create a new IP address and a new account, and voila, you’re in.
The following maps are zoomed out to protect the innocent. The detail of the map is down to the precise location on their street.