Twitter engineer, Foad Dabiri, has sparked concerns over the use of the instant messaging app WhatsApp. Dabiri recently shared a screenshot on Twitter and claimed that his WhatsApp app constantly used the microphone while he was asleep, raising questions about user privacy on the platform. The tweet soon attracted the attention of millions, including that of Elon Musk. Must not only found it ‘weird’ but also said that ‘WhatsApp cannot be trusted’. However, the company has refuted the claims stating that it is a ‘bug on Android’ and that they have asked ‘Google to investigate and remediate’.
“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?” Dabiri tweeted along with a screenshot. This tweet went viral and earned numerous responses, including one from Twitter CEO Elon Musk.
Take a look at Elon Musk’s tweet below:
WhatsApp later tweeted, “Over the last 24 hours we’ve been in touch with a Twitter engineer who posted an issue with his Pixel phone and WhatsApp.” The company added, “We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate.”
They even reiterated that the platform gives users complete control over their microphone settings. “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 tweeted.
Since being shared on May 9, Elon Musk’s tweet has garnered over 56.6 million views, and the numbers are still increasing. The share has also prompted people to post their thoughts in the comments.
Here’s how people reacted to the tweet:
“It’s incredible how many people don’t realize that WhatsApp is owned by Meta/Facebook,” posted a Twitter user. To this, Elon Musk replied, “Yeah. Or that WhatsApp founders left Meta/Facebook in disgust, started #deletefacebook campaign & made major contributions to building signal. What they learned about Facebook & changes to WhatsApp obviously disturbed them greatly.” Another added, “Maybe they just want to improve the quality of snoring idk.” “Twitter encrypted dms has entered the chat,” wrote a third.
A fourth joined, “I have denied WhatsApp accessing the microphone in my phone settings, but it still found a way to penetrate the access button in the background. Even if I deny the access, it keeps on collecting the background data. Quite weird! What is happening?” “I have been saying this for the past three years, but people don’t listen until Elon says it,” commented a fifth.
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