Paypal-owned social payment app Venmo always had a public friends list, and attention was recently drawn to this feature after President Biden’s real-life social network, including friends, family and associates, were mapped out using the app.
Today reverse engineer Jane Machun Wong discovered that the service is responding to the issue by finally developing privacy options for the app’s friend list.
At present it is impossible to hide your friend’s list, a unique situation compared to other large social apps.
Despite the new options, the default to the app is still set to Public, which worries security researchers due to the ease of discovery. The Venmo friends list has been implicated in stalking in the past, and also used by police to prosecute drug-dealing networks.
It is not known when the new privacy options will roll out yet, but it will likely not be too long from now.