Venmo highlighted a number of ways users can protect their privacy after a researcher revealed users of the social media and payments app might be sharing more information about themselves than they realise.
Using the Venmo API, The Guardian reported Germany-based researcher Hang Do Thi Duc was able to view messages and transactions sent between users of the app, along with the users’ name and dates for the interactions. She pointed out the availability of that information would allow strangers to compile a detailed profile about Venmo users, including their purchase history, location, illegal activity, eating habits and other preferences.
Do Thi Duc said the information was visible thanks to a default setting in the app which makes posts public.
In a statement to Mobile World Live, a Venmo representative said “the safety and privacy of Venmo users and their information is one of our highest priorities,” but added the app leaves it up to users to decide what is shared on their public feed.
The representative noted Venmo offers a number of different settings for users allowing them to set the privacy level for each individual payment and future payments made on the app. Users can also change the privacy setting for past transactions, the representative said.