Financial transactions should be private by default

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> What if all your guilty pleasures were on display for the whole world to see? If you use Venmo, a popular app that lets people send and collect money, there’s a good chance they already are.
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> Venmo’s settings are public by default, so millions of transactions are available for anyone on the web to find.
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> Everyone knowing who you shared pizza with last week might seem innocuous enough, but with millions of transactions publicly available there is a huge risk that this data could be used for nefarious purposes. Venmo has transformed the way Americans settle personal debts, and with as many as an estimated 10 million monthly users, how it handles privacy could be the standard for other financial apps.1
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> Sign our petition to tell Venmo that financial transactions should be private.
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> Last year, researcher and Mozilla Fellow Hang Do Thi Duc exposed the serious implications of Venmo’s settings by uncovering how countless Venmo users’ drug habits, junk food vices, personal finances, and fights with significant others are available for all to see.2
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> Under pressure from the slew of news covering Do Thi Duc’s work and a Mozilla campaign calling for the company to change its public by default setting, Venmo made a few small changes and restricted the rate at which information could be pulled from its public database of transactions (called an API).3 This change means that sensitive data about your transactions can still be extracted exactly the same way, it will just take a bit longer.4
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> This is not a fix. The privacy of Venmo users remains at risk. Last week, news surfaced that one researcher was able to collect data on 7 MILLION new transactions.5 With this renewed focus again exposing Venmo’s terrible privacy practices, we have the opportunity to push the company to finally fix the problem and make privacy its default setting.
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> Will you join 25,000 privacy advocates who have already signed our petition telling Venmo to make financial transactions private? Click here to add your name.
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> Thank you for helping hold Venmo accountable,
> The Mozilla Team
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> References:
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> Kaya Yurieff, “A researcher studied a year of public Venmo transactions. Here’s what she learned,” CNN Money, July 17, 2018.
> Olivia Solon, “Venmo: how the payment app exposes our private lives,” The Guardian, July 17, 2018.
> Sarah Perez, “Mozilla pushes PayPal to make Venmo transactions private by default,” TechCrunch
> Dell Cameron, “Millions of Transactions Scraped in Latest Demonstration of Venmo’s Absurd Privacy Policy,” Gizmodo, June 17, 2019.
> Ibid.
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