WhatsApp is one of the most successful instant messaging apps out there that enjoys a massive user base from around the world. The Facebook-owned company offers a wide array of features and services apart from the regular features available on similar platforms. However, the app is also prone to bugs and misconfigurations which may affect its status among users.
WhatsApp was recently plagued with a bug wherein a number of private groups and user profiles on the platform became accessible to outside users via Google Search. The bug had enabled anyone on the internet to perform a Google search and join these groups even though they were private. WhatsApp has now patched the recent issue, according to Rajshekhar Rajaharia, a cybersecurity researcher.
This wasn’t the first time that WhatsApp has encountered such a bug on its platform. It was faced with a similar issue in 2019 which was actually a result of a misconfiguration. There have also been reports of user-profiles and user’s contact details appearing in Google search; however, the issue was later resolved by the company by adding a 'noindex' meta tag to these invites to prevent them from getting listed in the Google search results.
WhatsApp has confirmed that the said privacy policies and terms of service will get into effect starting February 8, 2021. However, as users continue to express their outrage, the company has issued a clarification assuring users that the new policies will only affect the messages that a user sends to business profiles on the platform. It has also clarified that it will continue to offer end-to-end encryption to users for personal WhatsApp chats and voice calls with friends and family members.
Image credits: WhatsApp