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Clubhouse privacy concerns

We recently posted giving you an overview of Clubhouse, the audio chat app.  You can find that here. It is now being reported that Clubhouse is being hit by a number of privacy concerns, which has many of its users fleeing.  What are these concerns? Should they stop you from using the app?  Let’s find out.

Clubhouse gives you a sense of exclusivity, it’s invitation only and only for IOS.  Usually exclusivity comes hand in hand with privacy, but not this time.

To start us off on this (lack of) privacy post, we have the rooms and what is said in those rooms.  As stated in the app’s privacy policy, everything that is said in each and every room is recorded.  Recorded for Clubhouse itself, us as users are unable to listen back on what has been recorded.

Solely for the purpose of supporting incident investigations, we temporarily record the audio in a room while the room is live.

It is unclear how long the audio is kept for, who listens to it, what happens to it once listened to.  The questions keep on going..

Also to prove that your audio isn’t safe with Clubhouse one person decided to figure out a way to hijack audio from several rooms and stream it to a third party website.  They called it a “Data Spillage”

Next up we have the invitation process.  Once you receive your golden ticket into Clubhouse the sign up procedure begins.  To make your profile you have to give Clubhouse access to all of your contacts on your phone.  This then allows invitations to be sent to your contacts.  So this means that the person reading this might have no intention to ever use Clubhouse, but one of your friends uses it.  Clubhouse now have have your personal data.  Personal data you yourself can’t delete because you aren’t a Clubhouse member.

As any company would, Clubhouse intends to make some sort of revenue from the app.  But how are they planning on doing that?  It seems to ready themselves for monetization, they have put an extra piece of text into their privacy policy.

may share the categories of Personal Data described above without further notice to you.

Meaning Clubhouse do intend on sharing your personal data but will not tell you about it

OK, you’ve had enough of the app and all of its gaps in it’s privacy.  So you decide to delete your account and leave.  But of course it isn’t quite as simple as that.  A delete button simply doesn’t exist.  Instead you have to email for them to delete the account for you and just hope that someone responds.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not on a Clubhouse bashing tirade.  I came to my own conclusions about the app itself in the previous post linked above, it is a great idea in theory.  The concerns that I have written about here are genuine concerns you should think about before choosing to sign up or not.