Hornet

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Hornet

Review date: 02/07/2021

Hornet is a dating app targeted at gay and bisexual men. Unlike its counterpart Grindr, Hornet puts a greater emphasis on privacy for its 30 million users. This seems to be due in part because it is made by members of the gay community for members of the gay community, including their Senior Health Innovation Strategist who admits to living with HIV (in response to Grindr sharing HIV status of their users). Launched in 2011, Hornet is available in many languages including English. Japanese, Spanish, French, Polish, Korean, and more. The app is free to download and use and the features free users get are more robust than many other dating apps, including free messaging for all members, the ability to browser all profiles and upload public and private photos. Seeing who has checked out your profile and searching profiles using filters are included as premium feature.

What could happen if something goes wrong

Hornet bills itself the better privacy alternative to Grindr for gay and bisexual men looking for hookups and dates. How does it do? Well, to be honest, it's not hard to be better than Grindr when it comes to privacy and protecting users' sensitive personal information. Hornet does do a better job for sure. They don't appear to sell or share users' personal information. They haven't had any known data breaches or leaks in recent years. And in response to the news Grindr was sharing their users' HIV status with outside companies, Hornet specifically put out a statement saying they would never do that, in part because they have members of the company living with HIV who understand just how sensitive that information is. This is all great to see. What wasn't great to see was that Hornet doesn't require a strong password to login to the app -- we were able to use 123456. For a company that touts itself for its privacy and security practices, this is a pretty big flaw. We also weren't able to determine if the app encrypted all the users' messages, location data, chats, and pictures. All in all, Hornet is a much better option for gay and bisexual men than Grindr. It has some flaws we'd like to see fixed, given that it is still dangerous in many parts of the world for gay and bisexual men to live openly.

Privacy

Can it snoop on me?

Camera

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: Yes

Tracks Location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What is required to sign up?

Users sign-up with either email or third-party (Apple or Google or Facebook).

What data does it collect?

How can you control your data?

Users can request their personal data from the app by going to Setting > Privacy > Request my Personal Data. Users can also delete their account. However, Hornet is unclear about how long they will retain personal data. EU and UK residents can request their data be deleted.

What is the company’s known track record for protecting users’ data?

Average

No known incidents in the last two years.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User friendly privacy information?

No

Links to privacy information

Security

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?

No

Encryption

Can’t determine

We were unable to determine if they use encryption to protect users' personal information, chats, photos, and more.

Strong password

No

We were able to login with the weak password 123456.

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Privacy policy

Yes

Artificial Intelligence

Does the product use AI?

Yes

Does the AI use your personal data to make decisions about you?

Yes

Does the company allow users to see how the AI works?

No

Hornet's Privacy Policy states that they use automated decisions for two purposes: 1. Content and user suggestions; 2. Moderation of images.

Company contact info

Phone Number

No

Live Chat

No

Twitter

@hornet

Updates

HIV Data Protection and Breach at Grindr
Hornet
Hornet is a gay social network that was created to better our community. Our company values guided us as we built a product for our LGBTQ community that can, and does, improve lives and protect people. Any company that purports to serve the LGBTQ community should be expected to maintain the values of that community and advance them.

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