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Hype app Clubhouse Under Fire – Personal Data Issues

The Clubhouse social media app has been extremely popular for several weeks. However, a current report by Stiftung Warentest shows that users disclose a lot of data when using the app.


Clubhouse collects a lot of data unnecessarily and violates the General Data Protection Regulation with its data protection declaration. This is the conclusion reached by Stiftung Warentest, which has examined the app for live discussions that is currently only available for iOS. If the clubhouse in Europe wants to establish itself as a social network in the long term, the operator has to improve data protection.

The product testers advise everyone who is already using or want to use the Clubhouse: Friends who would like to be invited should be asked for their consent in advance so that their contact details do not end up inadvertently at Clubhouse. Because the provider Alpha Exploration grants itself the right to use the recorded contact data for marketing and advertising purposes.

If you don’t want to invite friends at all, you can also forbid the app from viewing the address book entirely. After all: the data stream analysis could not determine that the complete address book was being transferred to the provider server.

“Data as entry price”

But there is a lot more data: According to the information, where you are, what kind of smartphone you use, which mobile operator you are with, which chat rooms you have visited and how long you have been there, as well as when and how long you are recorded and sent has used the app in its entirety.

Some of this data goes to clubhouse servers, some to Apple and some to the data analysis company Amplitude in the USA. Also important to know: According to its own information, the provider records all discussions and saves them at least temporarily.

Overall, the product testers rate the tapping of personal data as the “entry price” for Clubhouse. The list of shortcomings from the experts is even longer.

Why is the clubhouse suddenly so popular?

For many, it’s probably the biggest question about the current hype: Why is the clubhouse suddenly being celebrated like this? What could be the reason for the sudden success of social media??The reasons for this are different, because on the one hand the availability of the app is artificially reduced and at the same time numerous influencers and stars are promoting your registration to the public. The so-called FOMO effect arises, the fear of missing out on something.

Exclusivity: If you want to use Clubhouse, you cannot simply download the app onto your smartphone and register. Instead, a personal invitation is required from an existing user and this user can only send a limited number of invitations. In addition, Clubhouse is currently only available on the iPhone, Android users cannot download the app.

Stars and influencers: Clubhouse is gaining popularity primarily through influencers and stars, who usually share their registration in a publicly effective manner and thus increase demand.