Clubhouse is one of the most popular and most talked about apps of the moment.
At the same time, there is a good chance that you have never used the app.
Should you do that, or is the company bad about your privacy?
Clubhouse is an app released in April 2020 that allows users to make audio calls to each other.
The app works with digital rooms in which you have speakers and listeners.
The rooms can deal with all kinds of subjects and can be public or private.
Clubhouse became world famous in early 2021, after Elon Musk, among others, used the app.
What data does Clubhouse need?
When you create an account with Clubhouse, the app asks for certain information;
think of your name, a photo, email address and a username.
The company says it will not sell all this information.
The company may also know about you if you are not yet a Clubhouse member.
When you, as a member, want to invite new users, Clubhouse will ask for permission to view your address book.
You cannot invite users without your consent.
When you want to add people as members, a list of contacts who know Clubhouse members appears.
The top contact person is the one who knows most of the Clubhouse members.
To find out how many Clubhouse members someone knows, the app compares phone numbers from different address books.
Clubhouse does not explain exactly how they do that.
This data may be on central servers.
That would mean that Clubhouse already has information about you, even if you are not yet a Clubhouse member.
Audio may feel safe and intimate, but it isn't
You could compare Clubhouse to a digital telephone call that you have with many people at the same time.
When everyone hangs up, the conversation is gone.
But that does not mean that everything said in that conversation is immediately gone.
In any case, Clubhouse records all conversations itself for moderation.
What you don't know, however, is whether your room participants are also recording a conversation.
You cannot know that.
The app itself does not have an option for this, but it is childishly easy to do this outside the app.
The simplest solution is to hold a microphone to your phone to record the conversation.
And there's nothing Clubhouse can do to stop that.
Clubhouse is also a young app that is now fully in the spotlight.
Often such apps do not yet have the security completely in order.
A simple example of this is Zoom.
See also: Insecure passwords and weak encryption: what's going on around Zoom?
There have also been incidents around Clubhouse.
For example, a user found out that he or she could transfer a room to their own website.
He could also listen to several rooms at the same time, writes
Its website allowed people to follow Clubhouse rooms, without being a member of the app themselves.
Clubhouse has now banned the user and fixed the error.
Earlier research by Stanford University also showed that Clubhouse is largely built on software from the Chinese Agora.
Clubhouse itself says it has lost certain connections to Chinese servers.
The app would also increase the encryption.
At the same time, Clubhouse does not say it will no longer connect to Chinese servers and it is unclear how the data will be encrypted.
It is therefore difficult to say how secure your conversations and data are at Clubhouse.
This is not necessarily a reason to immediately ban the app, but it is certainly not a place where you should share your deepest secrets.
See Also: Clubhouse Audio App Enhances Security Over China Espionage Concerns