Indian Government Launches Investigation into WhatsApp Privacy Breach


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The Indian Government Launches Investigation into WhatsApp after concerns were raised that the instant messaging platform may be accessing users’ microphones without their permission. The issue was brought to light by Twitter engineer Foad Dabiri, who tweeted that WhatsApp was using the microphone on his Pixel phone in the background while he was asleep.

The tweet gained traction, with thousands of retweets, likes, and comments. It even caught the attention of Elon Musk, who quoted Dabiri’s tweet and claimed that “WhatsApp can’t be trusted.” Indian Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, also took notice and said that the government would investigate the matter.

In response, WhatsApp officially acknowledged the issue but denied the claims. The messaging platform stated that the problem was with Android, not WhatsApp. It also emphasized that all messages and calls made on the platform are end-to-end encrypted, which means that no one can hear or read them.


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“We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributed information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate,” WhatsApp said in an official statement. “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.”

The Director of Public Policy India for Meta, Shivnath Thukral, also issued an official statement, saying, “We believe this is a bug on Android, Google has said they are looking into it. Your calls and voice notes are protected by end-to-end encryption so we cannot hear the microphone in any case. We’re aligned on safeguarding privacy.”

To ensure privacy, users can head to their phone’s settings and disable microphone access for WhatsApp. By going to Settings > Privacy > Permission Manager > Microphone, users can deny permission for WhatsApp to access their microphone. They can also disable microphone permission for any app that asks for it.

The Indian government’s investigation comes as it prepares to launch a new Digital Personal Data Protection bill to strengthen data privacy laws in the country. The bill is aimed at protecting personal data from misuse, unauthorized access, and other forms of cybercrime.

AbdulRahman Sulehria
AbdulRahman Sulehria
Abdulrahman Sulehria (AR Sulehri) is a writer with a passion for technology, sharing his insights with others. His expertise in digital marketing also helps him to create content that is optimized for maximum engagement and reach.

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