Venmo’s Privacy Settings Continue to Pose Problems

Venmo’s Privacy Settings Continue to Pose Problems

June 18, 2019         Written By John H. Oldshue

Another 7 million Venmo transactions have been published due to a problem with the company’s privacy policy. A computer science student named Dan Salmon scraped the transactions over a six-month period, showcasing how vulnerable information is with the default account settings.

Salmon said he published the data “in order to bring attention to Venmo users that all of this data is publicly available for anyone to grab without even an API key.”

By default, all Venmo accounts and transactions are set to public. Users can change this by going to Settings, then Privacy and selecting “Private.” They can also make past transactions private in the Past Transactions section.

Venmo’s privacy settings have long been under scrutiny. Last year, a researcher in Berlin crawled through over 200 million transactions. The public data revealed specific details about each user, including linked social media profile pictures. Many of the transactions in both exposure cases involved illegal activity.

The peer-to-peer payment platform has done little to address these concerns over the last year. They have removed a warning that used to show when someone changed their settings from public to private. They have also set limitations to make their public data harder to collect in large qualities. Salmon was still able to scrape 57,600 transactions per day, even with the API limits.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 18, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


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About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of LowCards.com. He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for LowCards.com.
View all posts by John H. Oldshue
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