• Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

Can I Protect My Privacy on Clubhouse?

Updated: Apr 5


Computer and Tech Tips Blog

If you are active on social media, you have probably heard about the new social network Clubhouse. Any time a new social media app appears on the scene, there are always issues about your privacy and security. I'm sure many of you have the following questions: Will it give away my location? How much information will I have to share to get signed up? Am I OK with my kids signing up for Clubhouse? Check out my tips that will give you a quick overview of the privacy, safety, and security features in Clubhouse to help you protect your personal information.


How to Get Started With Clubhouse. At the time of this writing, Clubhouse is currently an invitation-only platform. In order to join, someone needs to send you an invitation. If you are already on Clubhouse, you can send an SMS or text invitation from the app. Once you join the app, you'll have to enter your phone number. You'll have the option to import your profile from Twitter, choose a user name and your profile photo. You can also choose if you want the app to have access to your contacts. As the last step, you'll be asked to pick your interests which are used to help Clubhouse suggest “rooms” for you to participate in.


How Clubhouse works. When you log into the app, you'll be presented with the lobby which displays rooms that are active. You also have the option to start a new room. Rooms are separated by 'moderators', speakers and listeners. Rooms can be set up as Open To Anyone, Limited to The Moderators Followers, or Limited to those only Invited. The rooms in Clubhouse resemble a podcast or talk radio show. The appeal of Clubhouse is that you can pop in and out as you want and consume content with your schedule. Since it's a voice-only platform, you can participate in rooms while doing other things. This is a change from Zoom or Skype meetings where you have to 'show up' for video media.


One of the good things about Clubhouse is it doesn't ask for a lot of your personal information and it doesn’t share your location like other social media apps. The only things listed in your profile are your username, the number of people you follow, and the number of followers you have. You have the option to add a short bio, and links to your Twitter and Instagram accounts. Another good thing about the app is it allows you to quickly deal with other users who could potentially harass you.


Is Clubhouse Safe? The Clubhouse App has limited access to your smartphone which means information on your smartphone is a very low risk of being leaked. The app doesn't have access to your camera, location information, or your photos. You will be asked to give access to your microphone to allow you to speak in rooms. You will also be asked to give access to your contacts to give you the ability to send out invitations to your friends and associates.


As a Clubhouse user, you can block or report another user. Moderators for rooms have a number of tools at their disposal to boot disruptive or offensive people in rooms.


Clubhouse does collect your data, but it currently appears they only use it for their needs, but they don't sell it to third-party vendors.


Understand Clubhouse does record audio. This is stated in its privacy policy with the understanding the audio will be deleted immediately after a session if there is no incident reported or immediately after an investigation is completed. This doesn't mean that people won't use third part recording devices to record rooms or conversations, so be careful what information you share or say when you participate in a room.


Even though this app is very popular, it's not designed for anyone under the age of 18 at all. There is no age checking in the app or content filters. This is important to know because there are adult rooms in Clubhouse and most likely your kids will be interacting with strangers. Because of this, you should not let your kids join.


At this time, Clubhouse appears to be a fresh breath of air compared to other social media apps available. You can use this app with relative ease and not have to worry about which settings to deactivate to prevent the app from sharing your personal data. As the app grows, the privacy settings could change. If you have an iPhone and want to take part in Clubhouse, do so and have peace of mind knowing that your information is safe and secure.


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Want to ask me a tech question? Send it to burton@callintegralnow.com. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals and I'm serious about making technology fun and easy to use for everyone. 


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