The Federation of German Consumer Organizations complains above all about the poor data protection of the app and speaks of “serious defects”. The fact that the service does not have an imprint in Germany also causes criticism.
The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZBV) has warned the providers of the new Clubhouse social media app for allegedly serious legal deficiencies. This was announced by the board of the association, Klaus Müller, on Twitter with.
In a letter to Alpha Exploration Co. in Oakland, California, consumer advocates complain that the service in Germany is operated without the required imprint. The general terms and conditions and the data protection information are not available in German as prescribed, but only in English.
The warning is also about data protection. The clubhouse operator claims the right to make extensive use of the contact information uploaded by users from the smartphone’s address books and, for example, to bother them with advertising. Clubhouse is thus violating the European General Data Protection Regulation. In the warning to the clubhouse operator, the VZBV demands the submission of a “declaration of cease and desist with penalties.”
Should Alpha Exploration Co. in California not respond to the warning or refuse to sign the cease and desist declaration, the German association could file a lawsuit with the Berlin district court and impose a fine there.
Clubhouse was started in April 2020 and initially triggered a boom in the USA that is reminiscent of the beginnings of WhatsApp or Snapchat. It is an audio service in which users can listen to conversations like a live podcast or actively participate in discussions. In contrast to networks like Twitter, you cannot comment on posts in writing or assign “likes”. The creators define the app as “a new type of social service that is based on language and enables people all over the world to chat, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships and meet interesting new people”.
The provider’s marketing concept includes an artificial shortage. Not only are all users of an Android smartphone left out. Most iPhone owners who have installed Clubhouse also have to wait to be able to use the app at all. You need an invitation from an active clubhouse user.