Review date: 04/23/2020
Discord is more of a community with video call features built in than it is a stand-alone video call app. Initially a place for gamers to meet, chat and share, Discord has grown to over 100 million users and its communities now include everything from book clubs, dance classes, study groups, anime, music, and more. Discord has message-board features and voice features as well as video chat features and is available as an app on Android and iOS, as well as a download on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Users can also login through their browser. Discord has had problems with toxic content, harassment, human trafficking, and other online crimes, so if this is something your kids are using (it probably is), it's good to keep an eye out.
What could happen if something goes wrong
When we first published our research, Discord didn't meet our Minimum Security Standards because it didn't require a strong password to protect your account. Our researcher was able to login with the password "111111". Since we've published our research, Discord has updated their password requirement and now requires a strong password. We are happy to see this change on Discord's part and have updated their product to now meet our Minimum Security Standards. Discord does collect a lot of data on its users and says it can share that data with third-parties. Likely the biggest problem with Discord is its history of toxic communities, harassment, and predators. Getting sucked into alt-right hatred, accidentally stumbling across a porn ring, or getting harrassed by misogynistic gamers are all real concerns for people on Discord who aren't careful.
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
A phone number can be associated with your account for account recovery purposes, but is not required for account creation.
What data does it collect?
How does it use this data?
How are your recordings handled?
Alerts when calls are being recorded?
Discord does not support recording within its platform. Someone could use a screen recorder to record video chats in Discord, however.
Does the platform say it is compliant with US medical privacy laws?
Discord is not HIPAA compliant
Links to privacy information
Can I control it?
Is it easy to learn and use the features?
Discord certainly has a learning curve. It can be overwhelming at first. It does provide brief descriptions of what every feature or icon is for in the app. It also has a support website where it answers questions users have about using its features. But plan on giving yourself some time to figure it all out.
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Discord as a platform is not intended for encrypted communications. It does use standard encryption, but does not provide end-to-end encryption of its video chats.
We updated this from a "No" to a "Yes" becauce Discord recently update their password requirements so that a strong password is now required to sign in. We applaud them for making this change.
Discord performs multiple updates per month
Discord does have a bug bounty program.