Clubhouse Does Not Respect Your Privacy

Those of you who have started using Clubhouse may want to reconsider that decision. It turns out that Clubhouse does not respect your privacy at all. It also appears to be grabbing up people’s contact lists, which not only is intrusive on a person’s privacy but also could put some people in danger.

The Guardian reported that the live audio-chats had in conversation rooms disappear. That said, Clubhouse doesn’t have any features that would prevent someone from live-blogging the conversation or recording it and uploading it to YouTube.

Will Oremus posted on Medium about his experience with Clubhouse: “When I granted the app access to my contacts, within hours it was nudging me to invite my former pediatrician, barber, and a health worker who once cared for my dying father to join Clubhouse – and sending me push notifications every time someone from my contacts signed up so I could welcome them via a private chat and “walk them in”.

He pointed out that the contact list in your phone can include “old acquaintances, business associates, doctors, bosses, and people you went on a bad date with.”:

“…When you upload those numbers, not only are you telling the app developer that you are connected to those people, but you’re also telling it that those people are connected to you – which they might or might not have wanted the app to know. For example, say you have an ex or even a harasser you’ve tried to block from your life, but they still have your number in their phone; if they upload their contacts, Clubhouse will know you’re connected to them and make recommendations on that basis…”

Mashable reported that it is difficult to delete a Clubhouse account. To do it, you have to send Clubhouse an email in order to request a delete. It is unclear how long Clubhouse takes to process account deletion requests. Mashable also reported that Clubhouse requires access to your entire contact list for the purpose of sending invites.

Personally, I’m going to stay far away from Clubhouse. To me, it feels very sketchy to push users to give Clubhouse access to the contact list on their phone. I find it impossible to trust an app that demands to use the information on something that, for many, is extremely personal.