When it comes to brick-and-mortar clubhouses, getting in is typically the challenge. Clubhouse, the buzzy audio-focused social media app, appears to have flipped that logic on its head. 

Unlike Twitter or Facebook, Clubhouse provides no immediate way for users to delete their accounts. Instead of an option to do so in the app itself, or via the company’s website, Clubhouse’s privacy policy states that users need to email the company a deletion request.

“Please log in to your account or contact us (at support@alphaexplorationco.com) if you need to change or correct your Personal Data, or if you wish to delete your account,” it reads.

It’s unclear how long Clubhouse takes to process account deletion requests.

Unlike simply deleting an app from your phone, deleting an account — and any associated data — is a way to ensure that your personal information doesn’t live on in a company’s servers long after you’ve left. This may be of particular interest to Clubhouse users as the app requires access to your entire contact list for the purpose of sending invites (which is the only way, as of the time of this writing, to get an account). 

As Facebook has demonstrated time and time again, this specific data set is a particularly revealing one, and questions regarding user privacy are now being appropriately asked of Clubhouse.

An individual’s phone contact list exposes all kinds of potentially sensitive personal information like past and present therapists, doctors’ offices, rehab facilities, places of worship, and drug dealers, among others. 

Eva Galperin, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s director of cybersecurity, expressed similar concerns on Thursday.

“The contacts list in my phone is not a list of my friends,” she wrote. “There are people on that list that I never want to hear from and that I would prefer not to have any information about what I’m doing.”

We sent an account deletion request to Clubhouse but received no immediate response. 

If you live in California, however, you may be in luck. Thanks to the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), residents of the Golden State are granted extra mention in the app’s privacy policy. Specifically, it details how Californians “may have the right” to know what data Clubhouse has collected on them and to request its deletion. Much like with an account deletion request, you must kick off an email to support@alphaexplorationco.com.

Notably, sometime in the last few days, the app’s privacy policy and terms of service briefly disappeared from both its website and the app itself. Instead of finding a detailed explanation of how the company records room audio (which it does do), any interested user who clicked “Privacy Policy” in the app’s settings on Thursday was routed to a semi-blank welcome page

“Hey, we’re still opening up but anyone can join with an invite from an existing user!” read the page where the privacy policy once stood. 

Not great
Not great

The privacy policy and terms of service are once again live on the site, without any obvious changes. 

We reached out to Clubhouse to inquire why the app’s privacy policy and terms of service briefly went missing but received only an automated email in response. 

This, of course, doesn’t inspire confidence. And it should perhaps serve as a reminder that not all clubs are worth joining.


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