Venmo Called Out for Exposing Sensitive User Purchases

Venmo experienced a privacy emergency and onslaught of bad press when a researcher released an interactive website exposing the private details revealed by Venmo’s “public by default” setting for user payments. On their website, the researcher used Venmo payments to reveal intimate -- and sometimes embarrassing – details about different Venmo users, crafting these personal profiles based off data scraped from Venmo’s publicly available API. For its failure to make privacy the default, Venmo was called “simply out of step” with user expectations and hit with a wave of bad publicity, including a petition signed by more than 25,000 angry users.


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