Sarahah, this is an newly launched app which lets it’s users get anonymous messages once they sign-up on this app, this newly launched app took internet by storm and has been reported of getting nearly 18 million downloads. This app is available for both user interface i.e.; iOS and Android, it is reported to be No. 3 most downloaded free software and is also considered as the hottest free app download for iPads and iPhones in recent couple of  weeks.

The Sarahah app claims that it provides the user with opinions of people regarding him/her or what they want to say, by signing-up on this app the users are able to receive ‘honest’ feedback from their friends, family, employees, co-workers etc.  

But as everything has it’s good and bad aspects, this app also turned out worse for some people, some people have been reported to receive such messages from anonymous people that they believe no-one could have ever said to them openly. Such messages are personal attacks in nature which have offended most of the users. But on the other hand some people also appreciate this initiative done by the founder of Sarahah app Zain-Alabdin-Tawfiq.

The founder of Sarahah app Zain-Alabdin-Tawfiq belongs to Saudi Arabia, he had studied ‘Computer Science’ at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, he claims that the reason why he took this initiative known to be as Sarahah was to give people the ability to give their ‘honest opinions’ about their co-workers and friends so that they can improve themselves by enhancing their areas of strength and to further strengthen the areas in which they need improvement.

Now let’s talk about the major issue revolving over internet regarding this app, many users have reported that this app copies their contact list and accesses their personal information on their phone such as their pictures etc. The users claim that as soon as they log into the application, it transmits all of their email and phone contacts stored on the Android operating system to Sarahah server.

But some users also reported that this app sometimes asks the user to grant permission to access their contacts and personal information, yet no functional use of this data is observed by the app’s users.

When this issue went viral over internet, several reports were forwarded to Zain-Alabdin Tawfiq (Founder-Sarahah App) who responded the users and said that  this app actually harvests and uploads the contacts from users to the company's servers for a feature that will be implemented soon, known as “Find you friends” which is nowadays really very common and is available in almost all social apps.

A good news for the users is that they don’t have to download any service’s app to use Sarahah. It’s possible to send messages on Sarahah and register to receive messages on it, via a website. And that site doesn’t need and asks for any kind of access to contacts from any of your digital address books.

Adnan, a researcher at Digital Rights Foundation shared his analysis with The Nation and said, “The most dangerous part of this app is that they don’t have a clear cut policy. What will they do if someone needs to track a person who is sending threatening messages? Social media platforms such as Facebook indicate what local laws they follow or are subject to, regarding data, privacy et al, as well as harassment etc. Whereas Saraha app and service are vague to the point of flippancy and there is no report mechanism as such, in case of a complaint one can only send them an email. We are not sure what they would do with the data and what if a 3rd party gets it will there be any action on it.”

The areas of concern regarding this app includes the psychological effect on people as some personal comments on someone’s private life may result very harmful to lots of people. Sarahah founder believes that this is an ‘honesty app’ but not everyone thinks the same way, some people use this platform to discourage people by giving their opinions to them which what I would say that they might be either vulgar, harassing or depressing.

One incident regarding this topic was the harassment which one of the survivors of APS (Army Public School) Peshawar incident's student Aakif Azeem had to face, the message which he received was very depressing but he gave a graceful response. The post was as follows: