Data, dating apps, and danger for LGBTQ people online | #tinder | #pof

In today’s Big Story podcast, by now we’ve become at least semi-acquainted with the idea that advertisers and social media companies scrape and use our personal information in ways we can’t even begin to comprehend.

But a new analysis of the ways LGBTQ people are targeted, surveilled and censored online reveals a disturbing and disheartening tool international governments are using to persecute the queer community: Data from dating apps.

In a report released last week, cybersecurity company Recorded Future found dating apps like OKCupid, Grindr and Tinder collected user data, including users’ exact location, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political beliefs, drug use and more, and shared it with at least 135 third party entities. The company observed multiple cybersecurity attacks traced back to Russia and other Eastern European countries as well as cases all over the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Sometimes, people were entrapped, beaten and tortured.

What implications does this data collection and dissemination have for queer peoples’ safety online — and what can be done to protect them?

GUEST: Jane Lytvynenko, senior reporter with Buzzfeed News, who wrote about the Recorded Future report.

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