Is Clubhouse recording all audio? Privacy policy indicates that does happen

Is Clubhouse recording audio of all users? If one goes by the privacy policy that might well be the case. According to a report on The Intercept, while Clubhouse discourages users from recording and sharing audio onto other platforms, the company might be recording all audio which is taking place, even if it is only temporary.

For those who do not know, Clubhouse is an iOS-only app that has gained popularity. Clubhouse lets users host ‘Rooms’ where they can have audio conversations with each other. A speaker/moderator can invite others in the audience to participate in the discussion or ask questions. Users can also follow each other on the platform. Clubhouse’s Android app is about to launch soon, according to a recent interview by the founders.

Is Clubhouse recording audio?

According to the privacy policy of the app, the company is temporarily recording the audio in a room, at least while it is live. The policy reads as such, “Solely for the purpose of supporting incident investigations, we temporarily record the audio in a room while the room is live. If a user reports a Trust and Safety violation while the room is active, we retain the audio for the purposes of investigating the incident, and then delete it when the investigation is complete. If no incident is reported in a room, we delete the temporary audio recording when the room ends.”

The fact that Clubhouse is recording audio, and keeping it when a user report comes up, does some raise questions about privacy on the app. For one, while Clubhouse itself explicitly prohibits users from recording sessions and stressed on ephemerality, it is keeping an audio file, even if temporarily.

Further it is not clear what happens to the audio file, who listens to it, if it is kept permanently in case someone does make a complaint, points out the report. After all one might not know if a room they were part of, saw complaints and if the audio is indeed saved. The policy also does not specify how soon the investigations are completed and how quickly the audio is deleted.

Clubhouse and other private information

Clubhouse also collects information when you are connecting third-party services such as your Twitter profile or Instagram profile to the app, notes the report.

The privacy policy reads, “When you create your account, and/or authenticate with a third-party service like Twitter, we may collect, store, and periodically update information associated with that third-party account, such as your lists of friends or followers. We will never publish something through one of your third-party accounts without your express permission.” 

So keep in mind if you connect Clubhouse with other accounts, there is information exchange happening and it maybe be collecting and storing this as well, including your list of friends and followers.

It also look like in order to delete your Clubhouse account you will have to write an email to a support account. Clubhouse doesn’t have an option to delete the account, which is strange, given most social media companies offer this as an option to their users inside the app.

The privacy policy notes that one has to write an email to “[email protected]” to delete the account. The policy also notes, “You may also delete your account. Please note that we will need to verify that you have the authority to delete the account and certain activity generated prior to deletion may remain stored by us and may be shared with third parties as detailed in this Privacy Policy.” It is not clear what Clubhouse means when it says activity generated prior to deletion.

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