Anonymous feedback app Sarahah, that’s been going viral for the past couple weeks, has hit a major roadblock with Security Analyst Zachary Julian claiming the app is uploading users’ phone contacts to the company’s servers, raising privacy concerns.
The app’s founder, Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq, responded, stating that the contact lists were being uploaded “for a planned ‘find your friends’ feature” that was eventually “delayed due to a technical issue.”
Sarahah App asked for contacts for a planned “find your friends” feature
— ZainAlabdin Tawfiq (@ZainAlabdin878) August 27, 2017
On both iOS and Android, Sarahah asks user permission to access phone contacts so it’s not as if this is completely surprising.
Even if you don’t grant it permission, you can continue to use the app.
Sarahah lets people sign up to receive anonymised, candid messages and has been surging in popularity; somewhere north of 18 million people are estimated to have downloaded it from Apple and Google’s online stores, making it one of the most downloaded app for iPhones and iPads.
It’s very much possible the app isn’t doing anything with the data it collects but the information does needlessly get sent to the company’s servers when it really have to be.
With privacy concerns on the rise, such information is certainly causing a negative effect for the app.
This article originally appeared on The Verge.