After recent reports that WhatsApp supposedly listens to its users, Elon Musk himself has come out against the application. For the tycoon, this tool “is not to be trusted”he assures in a Twitter response, and it is not the first time that he has expressed himself negatively towards Meta services or its top manager.
Elon Musk’s response arrives a few days after he confronted Zuckerberg, describing him as a “highly partisan” person. In turn, both statements come two years after the tycoon posted the message “#DeleteFacebook it’s lame” on his Twitter account (Delete Facebook, it’s pathetic).
But what is happening with WhatsApp? According to the user Foad Dabiri, a Twitter engineer, the messaging service has allegedly been using your microphone without permission. “WhatsApp has been using the microphone in the background while I was sleeping and since I woke up at 6 AM (and this is only part of the timeline). What’s happening?” he asks on the social network.
Dabiri is not the only one who has experienced this strange occurrence. Other users have reported on other platforms that the microphone usage indicator is constantly activated and the culprit is usually WhatsApp. This is the case of Bikash Mahato, who posted his doubt on the Google forums in March of this year.
“The green dot in the upper right corner of my screen is always on and the microphone is used by WhatsApp,” he says. Besides, warns that the indicator goes away only “after reboot”although it ends up coming back after making a call through the messaging service.
Elon Musk has provoked an investigation by Google
Following Musk’s statements on Twitter and the subsequent popularization of Foad Dabiri’s tweet, WhatsApp has published a official reply. As they comment, this is a bug in android which attributes the information wrongly in the privacy settings. Thus, they have asked Google to initiate an investigation to solve it as soon as possible.
In the last 24 hours we have been in contact with a Twitter engineer who posted an issue with his Pixel phone and WhatsApp.
We believe this is a bug in Android that misattributes information in its Privacy Panel and we have asked Google to investigate and remedy it.
How to prevent WhatsApp from activating the microphone in the background
Most of the reports related to the use of the microphone in the background by WhatsApp come from Google Pixel users, including the Pixel 7 series. However, it is not limited to these models as there are also complaints from people using Samsung Galaxy devices including the S23 series.
How can we fix it temporarily? Well, there are some ways to prevent WhatsApp from using the microphone in the background, although for true protection we will have to wait for a future update of the service, or of Android, if necessary. Possible solutions:
- update the app: After downloading the latest available version of WhatsApp and restarting the mobile, some users report the disappearance of the problem.
- Reset WhatsApp permissions: Remove and re-grant the different permissions used by the service on your mobile. Then restart the device.