Yesterday, we reported that a bug in WhatsApp had been discovered where it appeared that the app continued to access the phone’s microphone even when the app was not in use. Now it turns out that the bug might not be WhatsApp’s doing, but rather Google’s.
The official WhatsApp Twitter account has since responded to the issue where they claim to have spoken with the Twitter engineer, Foad Dabiri, who was the first to report the issue. According to WhatsApp, they believe that this is due to a bug in Android that “mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard”.
Over the last 24 hours we’ve been in touch with a Twitter engineer who posted an issue with his Pixel phone and WhatsApp.
We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate. https://t.co/MnBi3qE6Gp
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) May 9, 2023
The company also claims to have reached out to Google and asked them to investigate the matter. WhatsApp also reiterated that users have full control over their microphone settings, claiming that the app only accesses the microphone on the user’s phone whenever they make a call or record a voice note or video.
They also stress that due to their use of end-to-end encryption, WhatsApp cannot listen in on user recordings even if they wanted to. Whether or not WhatsApp’s claims are true or not, this is definitely a worrying issue and hopefully a fix for the bug will be issued soon. In the meantime, users who are uncomfortable with this can always revoke WhatsApp’s microphone permissions for the time-being until the problem is resolved.