Clubhouse might be the hottest social media platform since Instagram. Launched in April of 2020, the exclusive invite-only app has been downloaded by 8 million users. The platform is designed to provide a virtual, bespoke stage for celebrities to casually quip or quarrel about their best life adventures and serious business endeavors. Pop stars found on the app include Oprah, Elon Musk, Vladimir Tenev, Meek Mill and MC Hammer, among a small galaxy of others.
The platform is designed to feel like a mellow house party. Virtual participants move through rooms, and stumble upon conversations. Once an invitee is on the app, he or she can contribute to conversations, eavesdrop on stories, or start discussions of their own.
The fact that the app is only available on iOS devices increases the app’s level of exclusivity. The app is described as “still in beta” mode, which is the reason given for its lack of availability to the general public.
Speculation swirls around how Clubhouse will pursue growth opportunities. As it stands, the company is valued above the $100 million mark. Capital investors are eager to get in on the action. But will this trend continue after security snafus are brought to light?
Conversing on Clubhouse
Security researchers contend that Clubhouse conversations are continually recorded and in some instances, accidentally published by third-party websites. Clubhouse guests may be surprised to find what they thought to be confidential conversations vaulting across the web.
A Clubhouse spokesperson stated that “safeguards” have been established to prevent unwanted audio publication. Clubhouse asserts that malicious code designed to exploit the audio system has been blocked. “We are committed to making our products as secure as we can,” stated the company.
Nonetheless, concern abounds.
Clubhouse security under the microscope
One major potential issue is that the app’s backend services are provided by an international start-up. As a result, Clubhouse is subject to the cyber security regulations of the People’s Republic of China. In turn, this could force Clubhouse to provide audio recordings to officials.
Those who enjoy the app should bear in mind that their data may be given to international authorities at any time. “Clubhouse cannot provide any privacy promises for conversations held anywhere around the world,” stated Director of the SIO and Facebook’s former CISO, Alex Stamos.
For more on Clubhouse security and breaches, visit Bloomberg.