Privacy and Security Concerns Regarding Houseparty App

The social media platforms have their own set of problems. On many social networks such as Instagram, strangers can connect with others, and there is no way to authenticate them. Houseparty app is different as it enables users to give out private invitations to others for video or text chat. This way verifying someone’s identity becomes easy. However, this app comes with its own set of privacy and security concerns.

What is Houseparty?

Houseparty application is for private video chatting, and it is available for iPhones, iPads, iPod touch, Android phones and tabs, and MacOS devices. The main objective of the app is group video conferencing. But users can exchange text messages in the app as well.

Concerns about Houseparty’s marketing and promotion

Houseparty app has a large user base with more than 20m users. A majority of the users are in their teens or early 20s. But the promotion of the app solely features people in their 20s, even though the app is quite popular among teens. Anybody the age of 13 and above can make an account, and this app does not do much to stop those who are less than 13 years old from lying about their age for signing up.

Houseparty also cleverly incorporates description and words that may be interpreted to be promoting unacceptable behaviors.

Moreover, texting in the app seems to support rather hostile behavior, like “ghosting”, and also seems to support chatting with strangers.

How does it work?

Houseparty is created to reduce a few privacy concerns that are present in other such apps. It does this by essentially decreasing the public presence familiar with different social networking apps such as Facebook or Instagram. Users are unable to search and locate other users. Alternatively, Houseparty solely enables users to add users they already know.

This app also comes with a choice to add other people who are nearby utilizing a location-based “Near Me” feature. Users can thankfully disable this feature.

After signing into the application, users are instantly welcomed with a video of themselves from the front cam, along with a listing of other users who are currently signed in. When you sign in to the app, other users will get alerted that you are now online. You either invite users to your room or join anybody else’s room.

This application consists of many different features like the users can change the camera(front to rear, and vice-versa), mute the mic, and they can lock their room so that no one else can join the room directly without an invitation.

Well, all the rooms are by default set to “open”, meaning that any user can join them. Users have to particularly lock the room in order to stop others from joining. Even though other users get alerts when you come online, these alerts can be disabled. Also, it is rather hard to find new profiles, since is option is given mainly to people you know from other platforms.

Emma Justine is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, Emma has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup.

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