Is Clubhouse Recording Your Conversations? You’d Better Believe It!

eavesdropping
Share the knowledge

Just in time for Android users around the world to join Clubhouse, it’s irrefutably confirmed that yes, Clubhouse is recording your conversations. Each and every conversation, in each and every room. (If you aren’t sure what Clubhouse is, we have a good explanation of what is Clubhouse here.)

Now, to be clear, they say that they don’t keep them very long – just long enough so that if there is an issue that comes up during the room they can review it, or if law enforcement needs to be called.

But still, recording the room, even temporarily (and they aren’t saying how long ‘not very long’ is) is very different than “not recording”. Not only that, but while putting the red dot ? in the title of a room is expected if anyone in the room is recording, to put people on notice that they are being recorded, Clubhouse doesn’t indicate that they are recording the room at all. Moreover, the expectation of seeing the red dot if the room is being recorded lulls people into it never occurring to them that absent the red dot the room might still be being recorded.

But as Clubhouse makes very clear in their Clubhouse Privacy Policy, they are recording everything, all the time. In fact, their privacy policy mentions the word “record” no fewer than 12 times. Here’s what they have to say:

To create a safe environment on the App, we may record conversations and use the recordings to investigate violations of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. We generally prohibit the recording of conversations in our rooms without speakers’ and participants’ explicit authorization.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

And:

Conversations that moderators and speakers have in Clubhouse rooms. We temporarily record the audio in a room while the room is live. These conversations are deleted unless a user reports a Trust and Safety violation while the room is active. In those cases, we encrypt and retain the audio for the purposes of investigating the incident, and then delete it when the investigation is complete. We only record what can be heard in a room; we never record audio data from (i) muted speakers/moderators and (ii) listeners/audience members.

(You can read the full Clubhouse Privacy Policy here.)

 

And yet, it is a violation of the Clubhouse Terms of Service (you have read them, right?) for you to “record any portion of a conversation without the expressed consent of all of the speakers involved”. (And that said, you should always assume that someone else in the room may be recording the conversation, so don’t say anything on Clubhouse that you wouldn’t say publicly, which, in fact, you are.)

And the Clubhouse Community Guidelines (you read those too, right?) also state that “You may not transcribe, record, or otherwise reproduce and/or share information obtained in Clubhouse without prior permission.”

Of course, it can’t really be said that Clubhouse hasn’t obtained your own prior permission, because you agreed to the Terms of Service when you sign up. Even if you didn’t actually read them.

It is interesting to note the following, from Clubhouse’s Community Guidelines, in which Clubhouse says that you can report an incident in two ways, and that a recording can only be reviewed if you report the incident from within the room in which it is happening. That does suggest that they don’t keep the recording for very long afterwards (although it could be for a number of other reasons, as well). Specifically Clubhouse’s Community Guidelines say that “Submitting a report from inside the room prompts us to retain the temporary, encrypted audio recording for the purpose of investigating the incident”, while that “when you report an incident directly from a user’s profile, we will not have access to any room’s audio to support the investigation.”

Now, all that said, the pitfalls of speaking publicly in an app that you now know records you are really no different than any other social media app, it’s just a different format. People can screenshot Facebook and Instagram, screen record TikTok and, yes, audio record Clubhouse.

The bottom line is, again, don’t say anything in or on any Internet platform that you aren’t prepared to have preserved for posterity – and future litigation.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

People also searched for subnet mask, flappy bird pipe top png, red dot clubhouse

Share the knowledge

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.