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Clubhouse confirms it records conversations, tracks users within the app

Clubhouse policy states that it may share data with social media platforms and other advertising partners that will use that info to serve you targeted ads.

twitter-logoKetan Pratap | March 1, 2021 | Updated 13:25 IST
Photo by Erin Kwon/ Unsplash
Photo by Erin Kwon/ Unsplash

Highlights

  • Clubhouse has some privacy concerns that it needs to fix.
  • The platform also records conversation in a room.
  • However, it adds that if no incident is reported in a room, we delete the temporary audio recording when the room ends.

Clubhouse, the drop-in audio chat app, has shot to fame in no time and has managed to get the attention of famous names like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg with its unique platform.

However, there are significant privacy concerns that have been raised by a report from Inc's Jason Aten, citing Clubhouse policies that are available to the public. For starters, Clubhouse indeed records conversations. One of the app's biggest highlights is having a room full of speakers and an audience who want to discuss some topics and the exchange being on the platform for a brief period and never being available again as a recording.

The audio app says that the recordings are temporary and done for supporting incident investigations. Here's what Clubhouse policy states, "Solely for the purpose of supporting incident investigations, we temporarily record the audio in a room while the room is live. If a user reports a Trust and Safety violation while the room is active, we retain the audio for the purposes of investigating the incident, and then delete it when the investigation is complete. If no incident is reported in a room, we delete the temporary audio recording when the room ends. Audio from (i) muted speakers and (ii) audience members is never captured, and all temporary audio recordings are encrypted."
The policy doesn't mention a timeline for the conversation recording available internally or who all can access such recordings.

Clubhouse also saves some personal data collected from third parties or publicly available sources. This means that despite you never joining Clubhouse, if one of your contacts is on the platform and has already shared the contacts list, then chances are that the platform has stored your number and other available details through third-party sources like Twitter.

"Solely for the purpose of supporting incident investigations, we temporarily record the audio in a room while the room is live. If a user reports a Trust and Safety violation while the room is active, we retain the audio for the purposes of investigating the incident, and then delete it when the investigation is complete. If no incident is reported in a room, we delete the temporary audio recording when the room ends. Audio from (i) muted speakers and (ii) audience members is never captured, and all temporary audio recordings are encrypted," notes the Clubhouse policy.

Another major shock is the fact that there's no way to delete your Clubhouse profile. The policy points out, "Please log in to your account or contact us (at support@alphaexplorationco.com) if you need to change or correct your Personal Data or if you wish to delete your account."

Lastly, the Clubhouse also uses ways to track its users within the app. Now, the app currently isn't doing much on the monetise front, which means that this could be something that's more applicable for the future. Here's what the policy says, "we may share Identification Data and Internet Activity Data with social media platforms and other advertising partners that will use that information to serve you targeted advertisements on social media platforms and other third party websites under certain regulations such sharing may be considered a "sale" of Personal Data."

The audio conversation platform recently went past 8 million downloads despite being an invite-only platform that hinted at its growing popularity. However, the Clubhouse hasn't only seen good things as security researchers recently flagged the app for some serious security flaws. The app was quick enough to acknowledge the issues and promised updates that would fix these problems.

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