- Elon Musk says WhatsApp is not trustworthy any longer.
- Indian government is probing into the matter.
- A Twitter engineer reported that WhatsApp was using his Pixel phone’s microphone in the background.
It is probable that WhatsApp or Mark Zuckerberg is listening to your personal conversations. A Twitter engineer recently shared a post that triggered concerns around the messaging application. Elon Musk referred to the tweet and opined that WhatsApp cannot be trusted any longer. The engineer’s tweet has garnered the attention of the Indian Government and Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship of India. The tweet has also spread like wild fire on social media with thousands of tweets, retweets, likes and comments.
The government will investigate the alleged invasion of privacy, the minister wrote in a tweet as the new Digital Personal Data Protection Bill was being prepared. Chandrasekhar quoted a message from Twitter developer Foad Dabiri that read, “This is an unforgivable breach and violation of #Privacy. Even while the new Digital Personal Data Protection Bill (#DPDP) is being prepared, we will look into this right away and take action if there has been a privacy infringement.
In a tweet, Dabiri claimed that while he was sleeping, WhatsApp was accessing the phone’s microphone. “While I was sleeping, WhatsApp has been using the microphone in the background. What’s happening?” he said in his tweet. He claimed that his Pixel 7 Pro experienced this.
Following the popularity of the tweet, the messaging app, WhatsApp broke its silence on the matter and instantly blamed Android for the glitch. It reiterated that all calls and communications sent on the platform are end-to-end encrypted, which it says prevents anyone from hearing or reading them.
WhatsApp said that users have full authority over their microphone settings, so they can decide whether to let or ban WhatsApp from utilising the microphone. Once given permission, WhatsApp only uses the microphone when a user is on a call, recording a voice note, or creating a video. Even then, end-to-end encryption ensures WhatsApp cannot hear the user’s messages.
If encroachment of privacy is something that is bothering you then you may easily block WhatsApp’s use of your phone’s microphone by going to its settings. Navigate to Settings > Privacy > Permission Manager > Microphone > and then refuse permission for WhatsApp by following the procedures. Similarly, you may turn off microphone access for any application that requests it.