In the wake of Coronavirus pandemic and people being asked to stay indoors, video conferencing apps and other telecommunications tools are witnessing a huge spike in traffic.
But it’s nothing like Epic Games Houseparty app, which has boomed in popularity among teens and adults alike. Over 2 million app downloads were registered last week itself. First launched in 2016, the video chat app enables users to play games during the video call.
However, everything that glitters is not gold. Experts warn that the Houseparty app could be collecting “a worrying amount of personal information.”
Ray Walsh from ProPrivacy told Digital Trends that “this includes geo-location data — which could, in theory, be used to map the location of each user.”
He was particularly worried about the data collected when users link popular social media platforms to the Houseparty app to sign in.
The "méchant" (bad) Internet could collect your personal data.
House Party doesn't take responsibility for securing its information systems. Regardless, such declaration is unenforceable under GDPR. pic.twitter.com/ePFATL1ciQ
— Suzanne Vergnolle (@SuVergnolle) March 22, 2020
ProPrivacy experts noted that turning off location data and making chat rooms private could reduce any extreme data collection related to location. But doing this won’t have any effect on the very data collection nature of the app.