Since the start of the confinement linked to the coronavirus, a cardboard application: Houseparty. It allows exchanging in number. But it is criticized for its use of data.
Failing to do it in a bar, at the park or at the water’s edge, he has imposed himself to break the solitude: the aperitif at a distance. Since the start of confinement, the grouped video calls at the end of the day, at the time of a drink, have exploded.
And an application is now present on many smartphones: Houseparty. But it is not only used for toasting.
Up to eight people at the same time
Also usable on a computer, it presents itself as a competitor of the main videoconferencing applications, such as Skype, FaceTime or Messenger. His particularity? It allows to group up to eight people at the same time. A possibility not offered by the competition. And who seduced to break the loneliness of confinement.
According to Priori Data, a specialist in applications, Houseparty was downloaded 104,700 times between Monday 16 (day of announcement of the implementation of containment the next day) and Sunday 22nd March 2020 only on the App Store, that is to say, Apple iPhone.
An explosion of facilities which brought the application to the top 3 of the most downloaded of the week on Apple brand phones. However, the figures for downloads on the Play Store , smartphones using Android (Samsung, Huawei, LG, etc.) are not known.
Avec le #confinement, une grande partie des activités professionnelles et de la vie sociale des Français se passe désormais en ligne. Voici les #applications mobiles Android/iOS les plus téléchargées la semaine dernière avec les données @prioridata :
▶️ https://t.co/nAbHkegi8I pic.twitter.com/ZKVXqE1vsa
— Statista France (@Statista_FR) March 24, 2020
Its handling is simple: just create a classic account with an identifier and voila. The application then allows you to find your loved ones thanks to the phone’s contact book and your Facebook account (after having given access authorization). Once the conversation has started, it is possible to play various games, several.
Please note, the chat rooms with friends are open to all contacts of all participants, as long as the room is not blocked. This is a first point on which users are invited to be vigilant. Just like on the personal data used by the application.
Be careful with the data exchanged
When getting started, a certain number of “classic” authorizations are requested: access to contacts to facilitate contact, access to the camera to allow video calls, access to the microphone to obtain sound or still access the photo library to save screenshots.
However, the application data is not encrypted. In other words, the data exchanged during a conversation are readable and usable by Epic Games, the publisher of Houseparty. “The general conditions are worrying because they do not specify the framework for the use of data,” warns Nicolas Lellouche, technology journalist at 01Net.
And to add: “Technically, they can recover call histories. But nobody saves stocks for eternity. So, caution is advised: professional calls should be avoided on the application, as is the communication of confidential data (credit cards, etc.) or even the distribution of intimate videos.
“The application is to be used for fun. And to break the loneliness of confinement.