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Different users have been reporting a privacy issue involving Meta’s WhatsApp platform after incidents of using the microphones of different Android devices despite being inactive. However, Mark Zuckerberg’s company claimed the bug is being triggered by Google’s Android Privacy Dashboard and said it has already asked the search giant to take action.
The last thing phone owners would like to happen is to realize their devices’ microphones are actually working without their permission. This is one of the biggest issues now being reported by several Android users who have the WhatsApp application on their phones. One of these individuals includes a Twitter engineer, who managed to document the instances the app did it. Other users also shared the same experience, especially after noticing the green light indicator of the microphone being used in the background.
The problem seems widespread, with most reports coming from Samsung and Pixel phone owners. WhatsApp already addressed the issue, explaining that it is actually not the app’s fault. “We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate,” it wrote in its post.
WhatsApp also defended itself, saying users have control over the mic settings. “Once granted permission, WhatsApp only accesses the mic when a user is making a call or recording a voice note or video – and even then, these communications are protected by end-to-end encryption so WhatsApp cannot hear them,” it added.
The issue has been affecting WhatsApp users for months now, but reports about this issue are not new in WhatsApp. Years ago, there were also reports of the same problem, which goes back as early as 2018. And now that the issue is resurfacing and getting more attention, it is time for the companies involved to ensure a solution that will end this bug once and for all.