A Twitter engineer’s screenshot of his device has raised concern over WhatsApp allegedly accessing the microphone of devices, even when the app is not actively in use. The engineer, Foad Dabiri, has claimed that his WhatsApp application was constantly using the microphone while he was asleep.
WhatsApp has been using the microphone in the background, while I was asleep and since I woke up at 6AM (and that’s just a part of the timeline!) What’s going on? pic.twitter.com/pNIfe4VlHV
— Foad Dabiri (@foaddabiri) May 6, 2023
His concern has also drawn a response from his boss, Elon Musk.
“”Trust Nothing, Not even nothing”.,” Mr Musk tweeted.
Trust nothing, not even nothing
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2023
WhatsApp has dismissed the claim and said, “Users have full control over their mic settings Google to investigate and remediate”.
Users have full control over their 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
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) May 9, 2023
“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.
Several users in the comment section, however, have claimed of facing similar problems.
WhatsApp remains the most popular instant messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption to protect the content of the messages from being read by anyone else.
Moreover, WhatsApp has faced some privacy issues in the past, such as: Sharing some user data with its parent company Meta such as your phone number, device information, location and contacts.
Signal and Telegram claim to offer more privacy to the users.