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Clubhouse confirms data spill — privacy breach on invite-only app raises concerns

Clubhouse App
(Image credit: Unsplash)

The invite-only audio-based social network Clubhouse has confirmed a data spill in which a user streamed private audio from a chatroom to a third-party site.

As confirmed by the iPhone-only social media app to Bloomberg, the data spill saw a user violate the terms of Clubhouse's terms of service, rather than hack into the app to release private conversations into the wild. According to the report, the user could go into multiple chatrooms and share the chats with anyone on their website, all by connecting to the Clubhouse Application Programming Interface (API). 

Semi-private

The user has reportedly been banned by Clubhouse, but this raises concerns over just how private the app is. Especially as only a week ago, Clubhouse stated it was strengthening its security due to Stanford Internet Observatory researchers discovering its audio data could be accessed by the Chinese government (via Gizmodo). Well, that's concerning.

After the data spill and breach of terms of service, Clubhouse stated that it now has new "safeguards" so conversations won't be streamed again. However, it's not impossible to record what's being said in an audio-only chat app.

This isn't the first time audio has been streamed from the Clubhouse app for all to hear, as the famed Elon Musk interview has been uploaded to YouTube for anyone to listen to. So it's not exactly hard to find, either.

The social app reportedly has over 6 million registered users, with that number growing fast due to its rise in popularity thanks to Musk and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. With this many users, it will be hard for a few conversations to not secretly be streamed on convenient platforms.

However, there's no denying its success despite it being an invite-only iPhone app. In fact, Facebook is looking to create its very own version of the app, although it's still in its early stages.

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.