No, Sarahah is Not 'Stealing' Your Contact Data!

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The anonymous messaging app, biled as a platform for honest feedback, has reportedly also been saving all the contacts in your phone.

Sarahah's founder, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, states that a partner was supposed to remove the coding to gather the user's contacts, but has since stopped working with the company.

The app, however, does require permission and user consent to upload data from the devices to its servers. That's a pretty clear case of an app that can, and probably does, compromise your Contacts and the anonymity of everyone you know.

According to Julian's testing, if users were not to access the Sarahah app for a few days, it pushes contacts data all over again when rebooted.

Well, not sure about you, but collecting data for a feature which is not even available yet, can not be justified for most people. While the developers are claiming that this feature was to be removed before making the application live, there is no information as to what will happen to all the contacts that are already with the app developers. When launched for the first time, it immediately harvests and uploads all contacts and email addresses in your address book. The app mentions on the store that they need access to contacts and it is a permission that you agree upon while installing the app.

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Sarahah is one of the most popular new free smartphone apps, with more than 10 million downloads in the Google Play Store and is the 63rd-most downloaded app via iTunes. He later verified the same occurs on Apple's iOS, albeit after a prompt to "access contacts", which also appears in newer versions of Android. Users can actually prevent the app from accessing contact data. It also does not seem to make any functional use of the information. "The privacy policy specifically states that if it plans to use your data, it'll ask for your consent", Julian said.

That being said Sarahah has been pretty straightforward when it comes to your contacts, it asks for permission to access your contacts on both iOS and Android. According to the report Julian discovered this when he installed the app on the Galaxy S5 (running on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop). On Android, if you are using Android 6.0 Marshmallow or later, you can go to Settings Personal Apps App Permission to stop the app from sending your contacts to a server.

Have you been using Sarahah and posting the comments on Facebook and Twitter?

On a related note, it is very common for Android apps to secretly team up and steal your data.

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