The voice chat app Clubhouse said it was reviewing its data protection practices after a breach that led to leaks of user information.
Clubhouse is a social media application, which can be accessed so far by invitation only, and allows members to join virtual rooms to have audio discussions on various topics.
Reuters quoted the Clubhouse app that it plans to work with a company that specializes in securing user data.
But is it safe to use the Clubhouse? This is what we put to the security expert Robert Potter, founder of the “internet 2.0” company specialized in the field of Internet security, who spoke to Al-Jazeera Net about the existence of a leak and not a breach of the Clubhouse application.
What is the difference between hacking and leaking information?
I would like to distinguish between data leakage and hacking. In the event of a hack, someone is able to share their login information and create a way to allow multiple users to use it at the same time.
Who is responsible in the event of a breach? Is it the company that developed the app or the other parties that provide specific services or have access to this information?
In the case of a cyber attack the fault is always the fault of the attacker. However, we as users must take prudent steps to manage the risks to our data.
What types of user information can be hacked through the Clubhouse app? How can the user reduce these risks?
The conversations placed on the platform can be rather sensitive. For example, users in China, during earlier periods of the app’s life, were completely open in their discussions about highly sensitive matters. Users need to lower their expectations about privacy when using social media, and be careful with what they share.
Several media outlets reported that the talks could fall into the hands of the Chinese government via Agora, which is responsible for the app’s voice management system, so what about voice chat, is it protected or could it be hacked?
Agora’s presence in China poses a risk to user data in every country. China’s national laws require companies to cooperate in gathering intelligence. As a result, we have to be very careful about having application infrastructure servers in China.
If the user still wants to use the app, what should they expect about its privacy and security?
I think we should expect our privacy to be exposed to additional risks on social media, especially new social media platforms. In the past, this happened with Zoom and Tiktok, and now we see an application that achieved high growth, spread quickly, and then faced a problem with privacy, or found a lot of problems that were not very big when the number of users was less and the application was unknown, Where cybersecurity comes second in terms of its priorities.
People just need to realize that the privacy and cybersecurity of newer social media platforms will not be as good as mature ones.
How do you think Club House can reinforce these issues and ensure users’ security and privacy?
I don’t think they can guarantee that their data will not be leaked. However, there are basic things like limiting the number of conversations a single user can join during a certain period of time, which makes the platform much more difficult to get rid of.
It is noteworthy that the data analysis company “Sensor Tower” reported that the Club House application, available only on iPhones, had about 3.6 million users worldwide since the beginning of last February.