Sarahah app uploads your address book without your knowledge

It's been dubbed "the honesty app" because it allows users to give constructive criticism anonymously but the Canadian Centre for Child Protection warns it has quickly turned into a platform for cyberbullying and harassment.

One of the most downloaded apps, Julian estimates that it is possible that Sarahah may have already harvested hundreds of millions of phone numbers and email addresses. Even Zain al-Abidin has acknowledged this. More intriguingly, there doesn't seem to be a reason for why the company would need to take such an ill-advised action in the app's current form.

The above occurrence clears that the app is somewhere interested in your contacts. After Intercept pointed out the behaviour, he stated "the data request will be removed on next update" and that Sarahah's servers now don't host contacts. The app is available in two languages, English and Arabic, for iOS and Android users. He further states that the feature has been delayed due to technical issues. The app accessed all the contact details including emails and phone contacts. Although in certain cases it asks for permission to access contacts, it does not disclose that it uploads such data. In the privacy policy page, it has been stated specifically that if it plans to use your data, it will ask for consent.

In it, writer Yael Grauer reveals the app's uploading of users' phone contacts to the company's servers. He said that the aim 'transmits all of email and phone contacts stored on Android.' The report adds that a similar thing happens on Apple devices as well. Julain also mentioned that even if a user does not use the app, still it uploads contact again and again. However, the Sarahah app doesn't have any such feature at this moment.


For those who are yet to try Sarahah we recommend declining the app the permission to access your contact data.

They also suggest teens who use the app to remove themselves from the search function and only share usernames with people they know. "See which of your contacts are on Snapchat!" and the popup on iOS clearly says that the contacts will be uploaded to Snapchat's servers "so you and others can find friends, and to improve your experience".

The primary argument against Sarahah is the fact that they are "stealing" your data because the app does not have a feature which would need access to your contacts. But all but the most expensive Android phones are notoriously slow to receive updates like Marshmallow, and around 54 percent of Android users are using older versions that don't have these permissions, and users have to be savvy enough to know where to find the app permissions (Settings Apps Gear button App permissions).


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