The American billionaire and the current owner of “Twitter”, Elon Musk, attacked the instant messaging application “WhatsApp”, considering that the application “cannot be trusted”, as he put it in a tweet he posted on “Twitter”.
Musk’s tweet came in response to another tweet published by a Twitter engineer, Fouad Dabiri, in which he indicated that the WhatsApp application was using his phone’s microphone in the background while he was sleeping.
The “Twitter” engineer attached to the tweet an image from his phone’s settings – which appears to be running an Android system – showing the use of “WhatsApp” for the microphone at different times, and the engineer added that the image is part of a longer time line, and he asked what was going on with the application.
Musk continued in another tweet in which he stated that the founders of the “WhatsApp” application had left the company after the acquisition of the “Meta” company – “Facebook” previously – in protest of the changes that followed the acquisition, and led a campaign to urge users to delete “Facebook” from their devices, They also contributed to the development of a safer alternative to “WhatsApp”, which is the “Signal” instant messaging application.
The tweets published by the engineer and owner of “Twitter” were widely circulated and interacted with, and were reported by many websites and newspapers.
This necessitated an official response from “WhatsApp” that came through the company’s official account on “Twitter” as well, as the company stated that it had contacted a “Twitter” engineer who had a problem with the “WhatsApp” application on his Pixel phone.
The company added that it believed that this was “an error in the Android operating system that leads to the display of false information in the privacy section,” noting that it had contacted “Google” to investigate and remedy the problem.
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 denied that it had eavesdropped on users, and stressed that users have full control over the microphone settings on their phones, and that once permission is granted, “WhatsApp” accesses the microphone only when the user makes a call or records an audio or video message. These communications are protected by end-to-end encryption so that no one – not even WhatsApp itself – can hear them.
It is worth noting that some users also reported that they are facing a similar issue with their devices as their comments on the previously mentioned tweets showed.
“Google” has not yet responded and has not said anything about this matter, but the balance is more inclined towards the justifications provided by the “WhatsApp” company, given that the application provides the feature of complete encryption and the microphone access settings can be controlled from the Android system as well as on the iPhone, and it is very difficult The application accesses the microphone without obtaining permission or alerting the user.