Houseparty, Epic Games’ video call service that became the sensation app in times of quarantine and social isolation, denies that it has been compromised by computer. After numerous shares on Twitter and through WhatsApp messages from alleged users saying they were hacked and Netflix codes stolen, the company shared on twitter a publication in which it says: “All Houseparty accounts are secure – the service is secure, it has never been compromised and it does not collect passwords for other sites”.
All Houseparty accounts are safe – the service is secure, has never been compromised, and doesn’t collect passwords for other sites.
– Houseparty (@houseparty) March 30, 2020
In the messages shared this Monday, users claim the following: “To all people who have the Houseparty app: There are people being stolen, they enter their bank accounts through the bank app, they enter other accounts they have, including enter the phone through the app. Delete the account and delete the app! ”. This message is accompanied by two images in which an alleged user claims that the compromised Spotify account has been detained and shows a verification email from Microsoft that he will have received.
Early Monday afternoon, the British tabloid Daily Mail reported these claims following similar messages that were shared in the UK. However, although the app raises privacy issues, like Observer reported, last Monday means Forbes claimed, using experts, that the app had no cybersecurity issues, despite collecting a lot of data from users (like other competing social networks).
How explained in 2019 at The Verge, the app’s creator, Sima Sistani, the app is “basically a third location for generation Z and young millennials“. “What they do in the app is what we used to do in the yard, in the basement,” he explains. In other words, Houseparty wants to recreate a group of friends from a distance. This year, the average number of friends a user had on the app was only 23, unlike networks like Facebook, which encourage you to have hundreds. In a time of social isolation, the app has won more and more users.
Because it is a social app, Houseparty shows, by definition, whether a person is online or not (at the top left, the smiley smiley symbol has the option to control notifications). It is possible to change in the contact settings who can see this or not, but the base of the system always shows who is online, including the user himself. However, it only sees who, previously, the user has accepted as a friend on this platform.
The Observer tried to contact Houseparty on this issue but has not yet received an answer.