Is it worth signing up for exclusive app Clubhouse?

Have you ever heard of Clubhouse? Clubhouse is a new social media only available for iPhone users and has been around for about a year now. The app is invitation-only and is audio based, so new users can only become a user if an existing user invites them. In the app, users can create and join “rooms” where they talk and listen to other people. Rooms have different topics and are typically hosted by an expert in the field.

 

Whoever invites you to join the app has to have your phone number and also give Clubhouse access to their contact list. In addition, you must do the same in order to use the app. No access to contacts means no invites.

 

Below is a summary of the top privacy concerns with Clubhouse:

 

  1. Clubhouse is recording your audio
  2. You can’t delete information other people share about you
  3. You can’t just delete your account
  4. It can share your personal information without notifying you
  5. Clubhouse is tracking you

 

Similar to Snapchat, a feature that users like about the app is that the audio is ephemeral. It can’t be listened to later and there are no transcripts either. In Clubhouse’s privacy policy, it states that it does keep a temporary recording of the audio they keep in case they need to investigate an incident. It does not state who can listen to the recording if there is an incident or anything else about what happens with the recording.

 

You can’t delete information other people share about you. Even if you choose not to create an account, if someone else you know has created one, it’s likely Clubhouse has your phone number. Clubhouse users can also connect their social media profiles, which gives all that data to Clubhouse as well.

 

If you decide Clubhouse is not the social media for you, it’s very hard to delete your account. In order to do so, you need to send an email to the Clubhouse Support Team to request your account to be deleted and wait for them to delete your account.

 

Clubhouse can share your personal information without notifying you. They have stated that it “may share Personal Data with our current and future affiliates”. They also state that they “may share the categories of Personal Data described above without further notice to you”. This is quite concerning as they have made users agree that they have no right to know where your personal information is being used outside of the Clubhouse app.

 

Clubhouse is tracking you. As most apps and social media do, Clubhouse is using cookies and other tracking technology to track what you do in the app and across the web. They are tracking and analysing this data to have a better understanding of what you are doing within the app.

 

Before you download the Clubhouse app or any new social media, know all the facts about how they are collecting your data and whom they are sharing it with. Having this information will help you to make an informed decision about whom you are giving your personal information to. It will also help you to make a decision whether to receive the service of the app, is it really worth trading your valuable information?

 

 

References:

 

TheFreshToast.com, 2021, Clubhouse is a new social media app based on audio exchanges. Here’s everything you should know before you sign up, TheFreshToast.com, viewed 9th March 2021,<https://thefreshtoast.com/culture/clubhouse-is-the-social-media-app-everyones-talking-about-heres-what-you-should-know/>.

 

Aten J, 2021, Clubhouse is Recording Your Conversations. That’s not even its worst privacy problem, Inc., viewed 9th March 2021,<https://www.inc.com/jason-aten/clubhouse-is-recording-your-conversations-thats-not-even-its-worst-privacy-problem.html>.

 

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