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.
Dan Salmon said he scraped the transactions during a cumulative six months to raise awareness and warn users to set their Venmo payments to private.
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.
A year on, Salmon showed…