Sarahah has been uploading your address book without permission
29 August, 2017, 00:19 | Author: Abraham Jackson
For those unaware, "Sarahah" - means "honesty" in Arabic, is an app that allows the users to send anonymous messages to others registered with the app.
Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, the creator of the app did confirm that yes, Sarahah is indeed harvesting your contacts and saving your data to their servers but that is for a feature that will come to play later.
For those who are yet to try Sarahah we recommend declining the app the permission to access your contact data. That's a pretty clear case of an app that can, and probably does, compromise your Contacts and the anonymity of everyone you know.
Sarahah has been quite a sensation, the anonymous app has been in the limelight since past couple of weeks.
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It's very much possible the app isn't doing anything with the data it collects but the information does needlessly get sent to the company's servers when it really have to be. When launched for the first time, it immediately harvests and uploads all phone numbers and email addresses in users' address book. For example, he tested the app on Friday night and when he booted it up again on Sunday morning, it uploaded all his contacts once again. When Julian tried rebooted the app after a gap on two days, all his contacts were pushed to the Sarahah servers again. The same occurrence was later determined on Apple's iOS too, although after a prompt to "access contacts", which also appears in newer versions of Android. On both iOS and Android platforms, Sarahah asks for permission to access each user's phone contacts.
With its growing popularity, Sarahah likely has a large database of contacts and other personal information. As of today, the app has over 62 million users. He also tweeted saying the feature was supposed to help in an upcoming update to the app, which would let users find their friends on the app. "See which of your contacts are on Snapchat!" and the popup on iOS clearly says that the contacts will be uploaded to Snapchat's servers "so you and others can find friends, and to improve your experience".
Still, if Sarahah intends to continue scooping up user's contact data via mobile apps, Julian believes a more responsible path for the company would be to specifically inform the user about what data they are giving up and where it is going - and to provide them with a legitimate reason as to why the app actually needs it.
Have you been using Sarahah and posting the comments on Facebook and Twitter? The site does not ask for permissions to access contacts from any of your address books.
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