Sarahah app uploading users' contacts to company's servers

29 August, 2017, 00:16 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Screengrab via Gadget Gig  YouTube

Be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, everyone is talking about the app for the past couple of weeks.

Sarahah, an anonymous feedback app that has recently exploded in popularity across the globe, is now coming under fire for privacy violations. It was created in Saudi Arabia by developer Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, according to news accounts.

Other apps that send users' contacts to external servers are more forthright in their privacy policies.

The company is under fire after reports that the app is gathering user information. The app is however, collecting more than feedback messages. According to a report in The Intercept, Sarahah is getting all your email addresses and contact details and storing them on its servers.

It was delayed due to a technical issue. He further tweeted that the company's database doesn't hold the contacts and the data request will be removed in the next update. He also tweeted that Sarahah now stores no contacts in its databases, which is impossible to verify. However, as the analyst revealed the app has been uploading entire contact books. The report has cited a security analyst at Bishop Fox, named Zachary Julian.

"As soon as you log into the application, it transmits all of your email and phone contacts stored on the Android operating system", he said, later confirming the same happens on iOS. Interestingly, the app was doing the same for the devices running on iOS. Julian reportedly found that the same occurs on iPhone, and that the app will also re-download all of your contacts if you haven't accessed it on your phone in some time.

In case you are anxious about Sarahah having access to your contact data without any real goal at the moment, it can be turned off before you install the app, or even after you are done installing.

On a related note, it is very common for Android apps to secretly team up and steal your data. "The privacy policy specifically states that if it plans to use your data, it'll ask for your consent", Julian said. However this does not translate to justifying the uploading of contacts without user permission.

Julian added that the app does this all over again if you use it after a break. 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). Sarahah argues that this allows people from work to give constructive advice in an anonymous way, users get to know their areas of strength as well as their areas that need improvement. Although in certain cases it asks for permission to access contacts, it does not disclose that it uploads such data.


  • Sebastian Vettel signs new three-year Ferrari contract

    Sebastian Vettel signs new three-year Ferrari contract

    It was here, deep in the Ardennes, where Schumacher recorded his first of 91 victories, a quarter of a century ago. But it is going to be a really tough grand prix and very hard to win the way Lewis and Mercedes are looking.
    Indian PM warns against violence over sentencing of 'rape guru'

    Indian PM warns against violence over sentencing of 'rape guru'

    A curfew was imposed in at least four districts of Punjab, said Amrinder Singh, the state's chief minister. When the guru left his ashram early Friday for the hearing, he was accompanied by a 100-vehicle convoy.
    13 dead in violence after Dera chief's conviction: Home secy

    13 dead in violence after Dera chief's conviction: Home secy

    Train services were cancelled through the area, leading to delays across northern India, and schools and colleges were closed. It's not unusual for leaders of these sects to often have small, heavily armed private militias protecting them.
  • Gervonta Davis Scores KO On Mayweather-McGregor Card In Bizarre Fight

    Gervonta Davis Scores KO On Mayweather-McGregor Card In Bizarre Fight

    When Davis was announced as the victor , the crowd booed leaving Davis with a quizzical expression on his usually smiling face. He entered the ring wearing a fuzzy blue hoodie that drew more than one comparison to the muppet Cookie Monster.
    Iran, Saudi to Exchange Diplomatic Visits

    Iran, Saudi to Exchange Diplomatic Visits

    The retaliatory move came just 24 hours after the central African state announced it was closing Qatar's embassy in N'Djamena. Al-Sulaiti returned to the Iranian capital on Friday after a 20-month hiatus that started in January 2016.
    Hazard features in defeat to Everton

    Hazard features in defeat to Everton

    Walsh was again the creator, setting up Beni Baningime to score from the edge of the area, before Oumar Niasse made it 3-0. Now, after a year of experience, I learned a lot from the past.
  • Johnson emerges on top in heavyweight battle with Spieth

    Johnson emerges on top in heavyweight battle with Spieth

    Down to his last shot, Johnson watched his 18-foot par putt stay on the high side of the hole and thought it surely would miss. Spieth began the round with a three-stroke lead before shooting a 1-under 69 that left him 13 under for the tournament.
    ISIS surrounded in Iraqi town near Mosul, coalition says

    ISIS surrounded in Iraqi town near Mosul, coalition says

    The International Organization for Migration said "thousands of civilians" had fled Tal Afar since the offensive began. Those remaining are threatened with death by ISIL, according to aid organisations and residents who managed to flee.
    Signet Jewelers Limited (NASDAQ:SIG) To Release Earnings

    Signet Jewelers Limited (NASDAQ:SIG) To Release Earnings

    The active investment managers in our partner's database now hold: 72.73 million shares, down from 73.91 million shares in 2016Q3. Buckingham Research has "Neutral" rating and $55 target. (NYSE:ASGN) has risen 41.91% since August 25, 2016 and is uptrending.
  • Former GE CEO Immelt Out of Running to Lead Challenged Uber

    Former GE CEO Immelt Out of Running to Lead Challenged Uber

    Whichever candidate the board chooses will be the person to usher the company into the post-Travis Kalanick era. The Holder report looked into whether Uber had a culture of sexual harassment , among other things.
    Former LSU RB Spencer Ware expected to miss the entire 2017 season

    Former LSU RB Spencer Ware expected to miss the entire 2017 season

    Ware has a sprained LCL in addition to the PCL tear after going down with a non-contact injury in Friday's preseason game. Reid said that third-round pick Kareem Hunt will start the season opener against the New England Patriots on September 7.
    Ton-up Stokes defiant as Windies bounce back

    Ton-up Stokes defiant as Windies bounce back

    To try and make sure that we leave this week having won the series is really important for us as a side'. Brathwaite and Hope were magnificent.


National Football League denies Ezekiel Elliott's request for 'truly' independent appeals arbitrator
The NFL has already mishandled numerous domestic violences cases and does not want to be accused of letting it happen again. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones isn't pleased with the process that has put his star player in this position.

Xiaomi announces new product launch for September 5
Xiaomi will globally launch the phone in India on the said date, which invariably means the device in question can't be the Mi 5X. Other specs of the Xiaomi Mi 5X include a 3,080 mAh battery with fast charging support, 4G VoLTE support, and a hybrid SIM slot.

DMK demands immediate floor test in TN Assembly
The meeting will also declare that the actions taken by Dinakaran against party office bearers as null and void", he added. Officially the AIADMK had broken into two factions - one led by Panneerselvam and the other by Sasikala.

'Game of Thrones': Who Is the Night King? Does It Even Matter?
However, they also now know that they can defeat the entire army by merely killing the Night King and his band of White Walkers . But that's still not enough for some fans, and now they are wondering if there's more to The Night King than meets the eye.

Colorado search and rescue teams head to South Texas after Harvey
Across southern Texas , officials had yet to learn the full extent of the damage from the powerful Category 4 storm. The forecast calls for rain to continue over the next few days, raising fears of continued flooding.

Liverpool v Arsenal match preview: Predicted XIs
The reality is that Liverpool pipped Arsenal to fourth place by one point while taking six off them last season. Now he wasn't even in the team amid reports of a training-ground dispute.

Facebook, Instagram users face outage
Some were unable to upload photos to the network whereas some got an error message on accessing the site. Some users of Instagram , the picture-sharing app owned by Facebook , have also reported issues.

Former Thai leader faces arrest after failing to appear for verdict
Yingluck's lawyers on Friday informed the Supreme Court that she could not attend the verdict because of an earache. If Ms Yingluck had been sent to jail she would have become a heroine, possibly stoking fresh unrest in the country.

U.S. military helicopter crashes off coast of Yemen
Officials have not yet identified those onboard the aircraft at the time of the crash or the unit the aircraft belonged to. Search and rescue efforts are underway for a missing US service member in the wake of the latest USA military accident.

Former Thai PM 'fled the country' ahead of verdict
He later said police were investigating reports that she had left via Koh Chang, an island close to the Cambodian border. Prosecutors in the criminal negligence trial argued that Yingluck ignored warnings of corruption in the subsidy program.