Venmo has added new privacy controls to the friend’s list following a stunning incident where Buzzfeed News was able to track President Joe Biden’s Venmo account due to a leaked privacy protocol of the app. App investigator Jane Manchun Wong found earlier on Friday that Venmo was working on new controls.
The Venmo spokesman said in a statement: “We are constantly developing and strengthening the Venmo platform for all of our customers. As a part of these in-progress efforts, we are enhancing our in-app controls, allowing customers to make public, there’s an option to choose a friend-only or private setting, “
To find new controls, tap on the hamburger icon on the main feed, then tap on “Settings,” “Privacy”, then “Friends List”.
In the new menu, you’ll select whether you would like your friend list to be public, visible to friends, or private. you’ll also toggle whether or not you want to appear within the friend list of other users.
The new toggles fix a serious privacy hole in Venmo that has been known for years: previously there was no way to keep your list of Venmo contacts personal, which means you’ll see another user’s contact list on the platform.
The hole was so dangerous that Buzzfeed News was able to track the president’s account in but 10 minutes, following a short mention of Biden using Venmo in a recent New York Times profile. The publication also found accounts of the many in his inner circle.