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Silicon Beach Report April 3: Snap Discussing Office in Saudi Arabia

Snap discussing office in Saudi Arabia; Grindr caught sharing HIV data with analytics companies; Blackberry to sue Snap.

Snap Discussing Office in Saudi Arabia

Snap Inc. has held advanced talks to open an office in Saudi Arabia, according to sources familiar with the discussions, reports CNBC. In addition to potentially opening an office, the company is developing a content deal with the MiSK Foundation, a Saudi youth empowerment organization chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to one of the sources. The partnership would provide Snapchat workshops and training to Saudi youth to develop homegrown content for domestic audiences.

Grindr Caught Sharing HIV Data with Analytics Companies

Grindr, a popular dating app for gay men, said it will stop sharing users’ HIV data with third-party companies that analyze mobile and Web apps, the Washington Post reports. The decision comes after BuzzFeed reported April 2 that Grindr, which has 3.6 million daily active users worldwide, has been providing HIV status and “last tested date” — information that Grindr users choose to include in their profiles — to two analytics companies. The report prompted a backlash among some users and advocacy groups that consider the sharing of data a breach of users’ trust.

Blackberry to Sue Snap

BlackBerry Ltd. is suing Snap Inc., accusing the company of using its patented messaging technology in the Snapchat app, the LA Times reports via Bloomberg. The suit mirrors a similar complaint the Canadian software developer brought last month against Facebook Inc. BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen has been working to find additional sources of revenue as investors express concern over growth rates at his company’s core security-focused software business.

Technology reporter Eli Horowitz can be reached at ehorowitz@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachhorowitz13 for the latest in L.A. tech news.


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