Venmo has announced that it has added a series of new privacy controls that will allow customers to keep their friend list private. This comes after an infamous incident where BuzzFeed News took advantage of the leaky privacy controls on the app to track Joe Biden’s account.
According to Jane Manchun Wong, Venmo had already started rolling out the new controls and will soon be available to all users.
The new changes will give the customer the chance to use in-app controls to select if they want a public, friends-only, or private account. In case you’d like to make these changes to your Venmo account, simply tap the hamburger button on your app.
Head to settings and then tap “Privacy.” While there, go to “Friends List.” From there you can select how private you want to keep that list. Now, this is a feature that is still rolling out so it’s likely that you may not be able to see these controls right away. Just give it a few days and try again. Venmo has noted that it is working hard to ensure that all these changes reach all its customers as fast as possible.
In the new “Friends List” menu, you will have the option to choose whether you want to keep it private, public, or friends only. In addition to this, you also have the opportunity to decide whether you want your name to appear on other people’s friend lists. These new developments are designed to fix a major privacy hole in Venmo.
But the funny thing is that this privacy hole is not anything new. We have all known about it for a long. It seems though Venmo only decided to act when the account of the president of the United States was compromised. And it’s really hard to understand why it took so long.
Before these new privacy changes were enacted, you could see the friend list of anyone using Venmo. There was no option of making that list private. This privacy hole was so bad that BuzzFeed was able to track Biden’s friend list on Venmo in less than 10 minutes.
This then allowed BuzzFeed to also get a list of friends from Biden’s inner circle. If you wanted to stalk someone and their friends, there won’t be a better place to do it than Venmo. But it seems the app is finally recognizing this flaw. The question, however, remains whether Venmo would have made these changes were it not for the Biden incident.
After all, questions about privacy have been raised a lot on the platform over the years and still nothing happened. But the only thing that matters is the fact that users now have the power to control their information. It’s not clear whether Venmo is working on more far-reaching privacy changes. We are also not sure how these new changes affect how the app operates. But they should be welcomed by all users of Venmo.