The concerns have been raised by a report from Inc’s Jason Aten, citing Clubhouse policies that are available to the public. The report firstly states that the Clubhouse app records conversations. Yes, the app does keep records of the conversations being made in the group.
As per the app, 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”, it further states. Although, the policy doesn’t mention for how much time the conversation recordings are available internally or who all can access such recordings.
The app uses various ways to track the user within the app. 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”.
Furthermore, the service doesn’t provide you with the option to delete your profile. the fact that there’s no way to delete your Clubhouse profile. The policy notes, “Please log in to your account or contact us (at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need to change or correct your Personal Data or if you wish to delete your account”.
If that wasn’t enough, the app further collects data from third parties or publicly available sources. This means that even if you have never joined Clubhouse and one of your contacts is on the platform and has already shared the contacts list with Clubhouse, then chances are that the platform has stored your phone number and other available details through third-party sources like Twitter.
This is a lot of collection of personal data on the app’s side and does raise some serious issues relating to privacy of the user. We hope Clubhouse responds and resolves the issues soon as we have already witnessed what happened with WhatsApp over privacy concerns, despite the fact that the app has been a part of everyone’s lives since years and has billions of users.