Social media and personal transactions, doesn’t sound right together? Well, PayPal’s peer to peer payment app, Venmo, has been doing it for a long time. Mozilla has delivered a petition with 25000 Americans pushing Venmo to make the transaction sharing settings private by default.
The concern Mozilla has raised is stated as:
“Millions of Venmo users’ spending habits are available for anyone to see. That’s because Venmo transactions are currently public by default — unless users manually update their settings, anyone, anywhere can see whom they’re sending money to, and why.”
This concern was first raised by Hang Do Thi Duc, who declared this practice as a huge risk. She supported her research with proof from the Venmo analysis that she conducted. She looked for people who had their transaction details publically shared. She analyzed more than 200 million public Venmo transactions and concluded that she gleaned a lot from this data. She could tell about a user’s drug habits, their relationships, eating habits, and a lot more.
Many supporters of this public demonstration of transactions considered this harmless. But Hand Do Thi Duc says that these transaction details may seem harmless but they tell you a lot about a person’s lifestyle and habits which should not be publically demonstrated until or unless allowed.
Venmo’s stance, in this case, had been quite disappointing. It didn’t respond directly over this issue but made a statement with TechCrunch saying:
“Venmo was designed for sharing experiences with your friends in today’s social world, and the newsfeed has always been a big part of this, the safety and privacy of Venmo users and their information is always a top priority. Our users trust us with their money and personal information, and we take this responsibility and applicable privacy laws very seriously”
Though Venmo has taken a step by explaining to its users the process through which they can make their Public Transactions Private or customized, they have devised tutorials that help serve this purpose.
Meanwhile, PayPal is considering to change its default privacy settings from Public to private, Mozilla came up with this petition raising a thousand questions regarding data security. Not only did this petition raise a concern but it pushed many companies to review their privacy policies and checks.
Let’s see which way the camel sits for Venmo and Mozilla. Any guesses? Let us know in the comment section.