Google resolves issue allowing WhatsApp to access microphones on Android devices

A bug that allowed WhatsApp to access the microphone on Android devices all the time has been fixed by Google. In a tweet, Google acknowledged the bug, stating that it affected a limited number of WhatsApp users and produced incorrect privacy indicators and notifications on the Android Privacy Dashboard.

Google stated, “Users can now update their WhatsApp app to address this issue. We thank WhatsApp for their partnership and apologize for any confusion this bug may have caused users.”

Twitter engineer Foad Dabiri raised concerns about WhatsApp using the microphone in the background, even when the user was not actively using the app. Elon Musk responded to the tweet, expressing his distrust in WhatsApp’s practices.

At the time, WhatsApp explained that it was a bug on Android that caused incorrect information to be displayed on the Privacy Dashboard, rather than the app accessing the microphone unnecessarily. Now that the bug has been fixed by Google, it is recommended for WhatsApp Android users to update their app.

In other news, WhatsApp is introducing a new security feature called ‘Silence Unknown Callers’, which will automatically silence incoming calls from unknown numbers. The feature aims to provide users with increased privacy and control over their incoming calls by screening out spam, scams, and calls from unknown individuals. It is available for both Android and iOS users globally, including WhatsApp users in India.

Once the feature is enabled, incoming calls from unknown numbers will no longer ring on the user’s phone, but will appear in the call list in case they turn out to be important calls.

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Updated: 21 Jun 2023, 10:51 AM IST

 

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