The Norwegian data protection agency fined dating app Grindr €6.3 million for sharing data with other companies without users‘ consent, it said Wednesday.

According to a decision dated December 13, the Norway regulator, known locally as Datatilsynet, ruled that the dating app’s sharing of user data with online advertising companies was illegal. Grindr had been sharing sensitive personal data even though it hadn’t obtained valid consent from users, the regulator found.

Finn Myrstad, digital policy director at the Norwegian Consumer Council, which is behind the complaints that led to the penalty, said: “This sends a strong signal to all companies involved in commercial surveillance. There are serious repercussions to sharing personal data without a legal basis. We call for the digital advertising industry to make fundamental changes to respect consumers’ rights.”

A Grindr spokesperson said the company is considering its legal options.

„We strongly disagree with Datatilsynet’s reasoning, which concerns historical consent practices from years ago, not our current consent practices or Privacy Policy. Even though Datatilsynet has lowered the fine compared to their earlier letter, Datatilsynet relies on a series of flawed findings, introduces many untested legal perspectives, and the proposed fine is therefore still entirely out of proportion with those flawed findings,“ they said.

The Norwegian agency had initially proposed fining Grindr around €10 million for the violations in January, but revised the figure down after it received the app’s precise turnover figures. It had originally been working off an estimate of the app’s financials.

In May, the Norwegian regulator also announced its intention to fine U.S. company Disqus, which provides the discussion platform or comments sections for scores of websites, around €2.5 million.

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