What is Sarahah And Why Does it Want Your Contacts

sarahah anonymous texting

This recently launched app has quickly become one of the most popular applications to download on the iOS App Store and Google Play. Within no time, Sarahah’s popularity spread among teens in both the UK and US markets, quickly ranking among the top three free apps available on the two platforms. The recent surge in popularity is believed to be linked to the app’s Snapchat integration, making it easier for teens to use.

How it works: Sarahah is an anonymous messaging service. Once registered, users can give the link to their friends or post it publicly online. Anyone with that specific link can send anonymous messages. The recipient has no way of knowing who is posting or responding to the messages.

A recent look into the App has uncovered that the “Anonymous Feedback” application is not as private as originally intended. Security analyst Zachary Julian, has discovered that the app actually “steals” your contacts by uploading to the company’s servers, without a purpose. According to the Intercept, the app harvests and uploads all phone numbers and email addresses from the user’s contacts or address book.

Sarahah originated as a website by Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, a Saudi Arabian developer. It’s purpose was to provide employees a method of posting anonymous feedback to the employer, without fear of being fired.

Under the Sarahah privacy policy, it states that the user will be asked to consent if the App plans to use the data. Under the Google’s Play Store’s entry, the Sarahah App does indicate that it will access contacts. The developer originally planned to use the data for a “Find Your Friend” feature which was delayed due to technical reasons. However Tawfiq has more recently issued a statement saying that the next update would remove the data request.

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