A Twitter user identified something quite intriguing recently. Google is supposedly recording WhatsApp group chats’ links, meaning our private group chats could be more discoverable. So, any invitation to WhatsApp group chats is recorded by Google, according to Motherboard.
Also, Jordan Wildon, a journalist, detailed on its last Twitter post that he found how the messaging app’s “Invite to Group Link” option allows Google to record groups, turning them as available on the Internet. Such a thing happens because the links are shared outside the app’s secure private chat service.
Motherboard could discover how private groups utilizing particular Google searches (the results comprised a lot of porn-related sharing groups). So, after joining a group – which was assigned for NGOs accredited by the UN – they got access to all the members and their phone numbers.
Google indexed WhatsApp group chats due to a privacy flaw
Group admins can cancel a link to a chat if they wish, but Wildon states that he found that, in those occurring, WhatsApps only provides a new link (the initial one isn’t disabled). WhatsApp links, however, as you might notice, reminds us that the one who provides the link only to share it with people they know or trust.
“Like all content that is shared in searchable public channels, invite links that are posted publicly on the Internet can be found by other WhatsApp users,” explained Alison Bonny, the Facebook/WhatsApp spokesperson. She also added: “Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website.”
Google, on the other hand, didn’t want to offer any replies for now. Still, the company’s public contact for search, Danny Sullivan, stated: “It’s no different than any case where a site allows URLs to be publicly listed.”