Houseparty comes under fire for collecting user data automatically

Anne Freier | March 31, 2020

App Business

Video calling app Houseparty has come under fire after it emerged that the app may be collecting user data automatically unless users specifically opt out.

Houseparty has become a popular app for people under lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak globally.

However, marketing processor Ekant Veer at Canterbury University in New Zealand has warned that the app collected user data unless users specifically opted out.

Houseparty was developed in 2016 by California-based Epic Games. Until recently it had a total of 130,000 downloads, but shot up to two million more recently.

Instead of the traditional video call, users can simply join ongoing “Houseparty” calls.

But according to the researchers, the app may be violating European privacy regulations.

“You’re essentially allowing this app to access your smartphone and your smartphone tells a lot about you, your movement, your locations, your contacts, how often you contact people, who you communicate with, and they’ll be able to basically track your every move,” added Gehan Gunasekara, associate professor of commercial law at University of Auckland.

However, users have spoken fondly of the app praising it for putting them back in touch with people they hadn’t spoken to in a long time.

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