Sunday, December 23, 2018

More on the social aspects of Venmo

See What’s Wrong With Your Venmo Account, and How to Fix It: You’re sharing more than you think via the payment app. Here’s how to tighten up your privacy settings by Katherine Bindley of The WSJ. Excerpt:
"Few social-media experiences have made me cringe more than viewing my “friend” list on the peer-to-peer payment app Venmo for the first time. Seeing the names of people I’d been on dates with years ago was jarring. Seeing someone I’d blocked on Facebook was unsettling. Seeing names I didn’t recognize and couldn’t find in my contacts was baffling. But one name horrified me above all others: my former therapist.

I went to her profile, clicked on her friend list and saw another name I recognized, the friend who initially referred me. It hit me that I was scrolling through a list that included a psychologist’s patients.

Venmo does well what it’s supposed to do: let friends exchange money quickly and easily. By default, it posts those transactions in a social-media-style feed—seeing who shared meals and drinks with whom, and which emojis they favor, can make an otherwise boring process mildly entertaining.

Theoretically, Venmo lets users control who sees those posted items. But Venmo has a spotty record on privacy and transparency: In February, the FTC announced a settlement with Venmo’s parent company, PayPal Holdings Inc., after finding Venmo “misled consumers about the extent to which they could control the privacy of their transactions.” PayPal didn’t pay a fine but agreed to make privacy-policy updates and to make sharing controls clearer.

Still, Venmo has so far been unwilling to make privacy adjustments to some of the features many users have issues with. Between the uproar this past summer over the app’s public-by-default settings, the enduring inability to make your “friend” list private, and my feeling like a potential victim of a HIPAA violation, I started wondering if I—or anyone else—should really be using the app. Figuring that out took far more digging than users should reasonably have to deal with."
She also explains how to change certain settings in Venmo to get more privacy.

See a post from last year Is Venmo Affecting Friendships?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the most logical thing here is to use paypal or pay the person the next time that you see them. if transaction privacy is your thing, the options aren't really that hard to figure out here. They also have something called zelle or if you're really old school you can mail a check or do a wire.