Following the recent jaw-dropping report that a gay hookup app breaches HIV data security by sharing users’ HIV status and “last tested date” with third-party companies — along with GPS data, phone ID and email — Hornet would like to confirm that we unequivocally value the trust users place in our platform and offer the utmost protection to user data.
As a gay social network that was created to better the LGBTQ community by improving lives and protecting people, we maintain strict company values that color everything we do. Because we are part of the LGBTQ community, Hornet goes above and beyond what’s expected of a traditional company, including in the realm of HIV data security.
Together we have lived through 37 years of the HIV epidemic, and people living with HIV have a fundamental right to privacy. That right does not end when they opt to disclose their status in a personal profile within our community. In fact, one of Hornet’s guiding principles is to find innovative ways to use technology to combat HIV stigma and discrimination.
In 2011 Hornet invented our Know Your Status (KYS) feature that allows users to disclose their status, foster conversations around sexual health and receive timed reminders to re-test if HIV-negative or engage in care if HIV-positive. It’s a feature that goes beyond prevention and helps HIV-positive men actively engage with their care and fosters a community affirming to all HIV statuses.
And when it comes to HIV data security, Hornet never shares the sensitive information that our users disclose in their profiles, nor do we use any other identifying information about our users.
We respect the privacy and security of our users, and we are committed to maintaining Hornet as a space for people of all HIV statuses. The online space we have created is a community where people can grow and thrive, not a resource for third-party profiteering.
Our users put their trust in us, not just around building good technology, but also around doing the right thing and living by a set of values that reflect the community. That will always be Hornet’s most important goal.