Were private WhatsApp chats actually EXPOSED on google search engine? What actually happened
Like all content shared in searchable public channels, invite other WhatsApp users can find links posted publicly on the internet.
Just days after announcing its new policy rules obliging users to share their data with Facebook, WhatsApp has faced an embarrassing privacy breach. Its private chat groups are being indexed on Google’s search engine.
On Sunday, invite links to private WhatsApp messaging groups and some user profiles were indexed by Google. Consequently, the information started appearing in Google search results, meaning anyone could join supposedly secure chats and see both conversations and related phone numbers.
Your @WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are. WhatsApp Group Chat Invite Links, User Profiles Made Public Again on @Google Again.
Story – https://t.co/GK2KrCtm8J#Infosec #Privacy #Whatsapp #infosecurity #CyberSecurity #GDPR #DataSecurity #dataprotection pic.twitter.com/7PvLYuM9xD
— Rajshekhar Rajaharia (@rajaharia) January 10, 2021
WhatsApp promptly addressed the issue, and the links are not available on Google anymore. A similar alleged WhatsApp privacy breach happened in early 2020. However, according to the company, the users were at fault for this privacy breach. Facebook insists that the app’s security has been considerably improved since last year’s leak.
What actually happened:
Following this, the company responded in a statement, saying, “Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the ‘no index’ tag on all deep link pages, which, according to Google, will exclude them from indexing.
Like all content shared in searchable public channels, invite other WhatsApp users can find links posted publicly on the internet. Information that users want to share privately with somebody they know and trust should not be disclosed on a publicly accessible website.
The incident took place five days after WhatsApp announced its new controversial policy that asks users to share their private data with Facebook. Users who decline the new terms and conditions won’t be able to use any of the platform’s services.
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