Note: infoDOCKET first posted about the issue discussed below on July 18, 2018 and September 27, 2018: “Digital Privacy: “PayPal’s Venmo App Exposes Most Transactions via its API”
A computer science student has scraped seven million Venmo transactions to prove that users’ public activity can still be easily obtained, a year after a privacy researcher downloaded hundreds of millions of Venmo transactions in a similar feat.
The peer-to-peer mobile payments service faced criticism last year after Hang Do Thi Duc, a former Mozilla fellow, downloaded 207 million transactions. The scraping effort was possible because Venmo payments between users are public by default. The scrapable data inspired several new projects — including a bot that tweeted out every time someone bought drugs.
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