Beware of the trendy social network: Clubhouse suffers from significant privacy issues
Clubhouse faces a big problem: private information is not encrypted and China could have access to all data.
In the last weeks you sure have heard of Clubhouse. This social network in which audios take on special importance has arrived with force and there are many who are trying to achieve the precious invitations to access and discover what Clubhouse is and how it works, but we can already advise that it has some aspects to improve.
One of the areas that new applications and platforms need to work the most is privacy and in Clubhouse there is a problem that surely sounds familiar to you: the Chinese government can access users’ private data, according to a group of researchers from the Stanford Internet Observatory.
This situation occurs when using the Agora platform to provide the audio and video infrastructure in real time that prevails in this social network. Agora belongs to a Chinese company and collects packages with metadata for each user, among which are those that identify each one, the activity and private information.
The problem is that this metadata is not encrypted and third parties can have access to the information, but especially to what happens in the infraestructura back-end by Agora. According to the researchers, “an intruder could tell if two users are talking to each other, for example by detecting if those users are joining the same channel“.
But since the information is not encrypted, neither do audio files, which can be analyzed, transcribed and stored without major problems, as reported Gizmodo. They point out that these factors are very important because Agora must comply with China’s security law and offer the government access to all data they request.
Agora has given little response to this investigation, although the essence of its communications has been to affirm that do not access user data or provide it to anyone.
In Clubhouse they have responded that they will analyze all the information that has come to light, but that from the first moment they will try to improve the privacy of the social network. For example, “Over the next 72 hours, we will implement changes to add additional encryption and locks to prevent Clubhouse customers from transmitting pings to Chinese servers“.
We meet again with problems close to those that TikTok suffered, although this time from a social network that does not come from China and that he will try to get away from this controversy as soon as possible. We will see if it affects it in any way and if it continues to grow so markedly.