Clubhouse Says Reviewing Data Protection Practices After Report Points to Security Flaws

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The US audio-only social media app Clubhouse said it is reviewing its data protection practices after a report by the Stanford Internet Observatory said it contained security flaws that left users’ data vulnerable to access by the Chinese government. The app said in a response to the study, published by the research group at Stanford University, that while it had opted not to make the app available in China, some people had found a workaround to download the app which meant the conversations they were a part of could be transmitted via Chinese servers.

“With the help of researchers at the Stanford Internet Observatory, we have identified a few areas where we can further strengthen our data protection,” the company said in a statement published by the research group on Friday. “Over the next 72 hours, we are rolling out changes to add additional encryption and blocks to prevent Clubhouse clients from ever transmitting pings to Chinese servers. We also plan to engage an external data security firm to review and validate these changes.”

Clubhouse did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for further comment on Saturday.

Launched in early 2020, the app saw global user numbers soar earlier this month after Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev held a surprise discussion on the platform.

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