Is Clubhouse Safe? | Internet Freedom Foundation accused Clubhouse of collecting excessive data

Alan Joseph Alan Joseph
Jun 25, 2021 4 min read
Is Clubhouse Safe? | Internet Freedom Foundation accused Clubhouse of collecting excessive data

The Clubhouse app has around 2.6 million users in India and has become a sensational social media platform during the pandemic. In the past few months, it has emerged as one of the most popular platforms. There are around millions of users who use the clubhouse and the discussion rooms to discuss over various topics. But India’s Digital Rights advocacy groups have raised concerns over privacy about the audio based social media platform. In this article let’s look at more information about it.

Clubhouse – Latest News
Information collected by Clubhouse according to IFF
What does Clubhouse do with the collected data according to IFF
IFF's Suggestion to Clubhouse
IFF’s Statement on Clubhouse
FAQ

Clubhouse – Latest News

Internet Freedom Foundation has accused the popular audio-only platform of collecting excessive data and undermining the right to privacy based on information. The foundation added that the social media platform’s practices are against the principle of data minimization and informed consent.

In a blog post, the Internet Freedom Foundation has conveyed that it collects more data than the required amount in order to provide the services.


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Information collected by Clubhouse according to IFF

The Internet Freedom Foundation has stated that the social media platform, Clubhouse collects information such as name, address, contact details, phone numbers, IP address, OS, device name, time, duration and the frequency on the people interact with and the duration of use. Other than these when people link other platforms to Clubhouse, the application also collects information that is shared on those platforms.

Based on certain authorizations the platform also collects phone numbers on the contact list even of those people who are not even part of the social media platform.

What does Clubhouse do with the collected data according to IFF?

IFF has stated that the social media platform collects the user data and shares them with third parties and the government and also stated that there is no policy that will prevent the platform from monetizing this information.

The group had also accused Clubhouse of failing to add a proper privacy policy in place which has led to a spread of wide hate, privacy violations and security incidents on the platforms. However, the social media platform claims to record all the conversations for investigation purposes and also claims to delete the audio immediately. There is no proper clarity provided around the entire process.

IFF's Suggestion to Clubhouse

The Internet Freedom Foundation has asked Clubhouse to provide human rights policy and to volunteer themselves for an audit towards civil rights to make sure that the platform is respectful of the rights related to digital and to enable users to understand how the platform has accountability in regards to human rights in its governance of the platform.

IFF has laid down a suggestion in order to conduct a periodic audit in regards to civil rights to check on the efforts of the clubhouse to defend and respect the human rights on its social media platform and also to evaluate, How Clubhouse has complied with the guidelines of community and privacy policies.


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IFF’s Statement on Clubhouse

IFF has conveyed that the organization believed that civil rights audits on social media platforms and entities are really important. They added that in this era these platforms and entities hold a really great power in relation to regulating speech and added that it is important to conduct an independent evaluation on how such regulation takes place.

An audit on the comprehensive human rights is the only way to mitigate the threat of hate and disinformation on one side and on the other side surveillance from the state or corporate. The IFF has also filed an advocacy group with the home ministry asking the law enforcement agencies in order to grant the permission to monitor clubhouse conversations such as the Intelligence and the Narcotics Bureaus.

Conclusion

The social media platform has a major power in relation to a lot of aspects in relation to politics and economics in a particular country. The privacy policy and the misusage of the collected data provide a huge concern for the users of a platform.

FAQ

Does Clubhouse have privacy?

You cannot record conversations on Clubhouse, But Clubhouse can, and does, record what you say. The app's privacy policy says that Clubhouse rooms are recorded: Solely for the purpose of supporting incident investigations, we temporarily record the audio in a room while the room is live

Is Clubhouse app secure?

Researchers at the Stanford Internet Observatory discovered that Clubhouse user and chat-room IDs were being sent to servers unencrypted — considered a poor security practice for any app.

What is the valuation of Clubhouse?

The valuation of Clubhouse is $4 billion after its latest funding round.

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