White House staff are using a "secure" app that's not really so secure

Cybersecurity experts warn that the Confide app, which boasts a feature that deletes messages as soon as they are read, is rife with security concerns. It also raises questions about whether senior members of the White House should be using an app that purposely deletes their conversations, potentially flouting rules requiring that they keep an accurate record of communications within the White House. The use of the app by government officials was first reported by Axios.

BuzzFeed News found the phone numbers of Spicer, along with Hope Hicks, the director of strategic communications, via a feature that allows users to see friends who have already joined.

In a phone call with BuzzFeed News, Spicer confirmed that he used the app, but said that he had done so only once, when asked to by a reporter “months ago.” He offered to show a BuzzFeed News reporter his phone as proof…

The expert said it was concerning that senior White House staff would use the app, and that it should not be trusted. While messages are deleted immediately from the phone, the company stores them for upwards of a week before manually deleting them. The expert also said that the company stores the metadata of all its users, meaning that while the content of the messages would not be available, it would be possible to see how often a user was sending messages, and to whom.