Sarahah, the popular, anonymous messaging app is doing more than just collecting anonymous messages for users. It’s actually uploading your entire phone book data for no apparent reason.
Sarahah is designed with the purpose to allow people to message its users anonymously which people using the app can access later. However, according to a study by The Intercept, the application is updating the entire phone book data from the user’s smartphone.
Considering the fact that Sarahah is built upon the anonymity principle, the use of downloading a user’s phonebook data does not have a plausible reason.
Following the report and a video showing the app uploading data, app developer ZainAlabdin Tawfiq came up with a statement that the app will be using this data for a planned feature.
Sarahah App asked for contacts for a planned “find your friends” feature
The app, however, does require permission and user consent to upload data from the devices to its servers. But the app uploading data right away and the developer preaching the fact that it will be used in a future version of the app does not really add up, right now.
With its growing popularity, Sarahah likely has a large database of contacts and other personal information. While the developers are claiming that this feature was to be removed before making the application live, there is no information as to what will happen to all the contacts that are already with the app developers.
While it is difficult to control the data that has already been shared through the app. Future users can make use of the app permission function on their smartphones to deny Sarahah any access to their phonebook and its contents.
For those users who want to use Sarahah without the app, they can make use of the web version and get away by sending and receiving messages without having to worry about app permissions.