Houseparty is a video chat app that became increasingly popular during the coronavirus pandemic. People started using this application after being resumed to work or study from home because of the social distancing measures implemented by the government. Houseparty is proposing a unique, fun way of experiencing group calls. Even though the company has a user-friendly policy attracting more and more customers, the app comes with a wide variety of security concerns to display.
A report on Digital Trends has Ray Walsh, an expert in digital privacy, stating that the application is stocking an alarmingly high number of personal information. The risks are enormous since the data that is being shared includes geolocation data, which theoretically is used for tracking down users’ locations.
Houseparty might have a trojan
The expert underlines the government’s implication in this matter, spotting the amount of information it may able to glean from Houseparty if they decide to do so. Walsh suggests that if the isolation period continues for an extended period, the United States government could make use of these kinds of features to spy on the population.
During a radio show, Gehan Gunasekara, associate professor in commercial law from the University of Auckland, has labeled the video chat app as being a “Trojan horse” in terms of privacy. The professor claims that after downloading this app, one consents to allow Houseparty to know his actual location, as well as the people he gets in touch with and how many times per day.
Other massive online platforms are showing their discontent regarding Houseparty. PayPal, Instagram, Netflix, Spotify, and online-banking accounts are accusing the application of compromising their services. Houseparty is disclaiming these accusations, even though the app is powered by Epic Games, a platform well known for its lack of privacy. Some other vide chat apps that save users from this trouble are Hangouts, Skype or Zoom.