Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Public By Default

 Venmo is a mobile transaction app that allows users to easily make payments to each other. It's owned by PayPal. It's a useful app that easily allows anyone to set up an account, link it to a credit card or bank account and then send and receive payments.

 Everything about the transactions except the amount is, by default, public. This information would allow someone to build networks of connections between people and businesses, viewing all the transactions that occur. Buzzfeed tried this for President Biden.

"On Friday, following a passing mention in the New York Times that the president had sent his grandchildren money on Venmo, BuzzFeed News searched for the president’s account using only a combination of the app’s built-in search tool and public friends feature. In the process, BuzzFeed News found nearly a dozen Biden family members and mapped out a social web that encompasses not only the first family, but a wide network of people around them, including the president's children, grandchildren, senior White House officials, and all of their contacts on Venmo."

All of the President's information, along with that of his family, has already been taken down. 

 But the rest of the system continues to operate, by default, in a public sharing mode. Vice.com lays it out in an article that has some further links. A  researcher in Berlin mapped every Venmo transaction in 2017 using Venmo's public API. This isn't hacking, it's openly available data.

Pay attention to the apps you use and what information you have agreed to share for the convenience of using them.

 

8 comments:

GregMan said...

Were there any payments from China?

The Freeholder said...

Interesting. Anyone have any names of the higher ups in Antifa and BLM? Asking for a friend.

SiGraybeard said...

I wonder if the Secret Service was surprised or if they're stupid about it, too.

If it took Buzzfeed finding that to get Biden's family taken off the network, we know the answer.

Ed Bonderenka said...

Were CCP payments to THE BIG GUY there?

Old NFO said...

I have the same question as everyone else...

Richard said...

Better yet avoid apps in general. They are all run by your enemies and/or idiots.

Peteforester said...

My kid wanted me to set up a Venmo account. I read the agreement, which said that the app had access to... EVRYTHING... on my phone, and said "HELL, NO!" My kid asked me why. I showed him. He said he didn't have a problem with it. ...This is where things are headed, folks...

David L said...

For good or evil aps identify you...

"Authorities identified Stanga with the help of surveillance footage from a gas station where he later bought items using his phone number for a rewards card that investigators used to identify him, according to the report."

Its everywhere and everything. Privacy may be indeed a thing of the past.