WhatsApp is allegedly accessing microphones on some Android devices in the background. The issue came to the spotlight after a Twitter engineer complained about this potential privacy in a tweet that was boosted by the company CEO Elon Musk. The engineer claimed that the Meta-owned instant messaging app has accessed his Google Pixel 7 Pro’s microphone during the night even though the app was not actively in use. WhatsApp later denied the claims saying that this is an Android bug “that misattributes information in their Privacy Dashboard” and that the company had asked Google to look into the issue.
The director of engineering at Twitter, Foad Dabiri, posted a screenshot of his Pixel 7 Pro suggesting that WhatsApp repeatedly accessed the microphone of the phone even when the app wasn’t being actively used. The screenshot from Android’s Privacy Dashboard shows that WhatsApp had used his microphone at least nine times overnight between 4am and 7am local time, all without any interaction from the user. “WhatsApp has been using the microphone in the background, while I was asleep and since I woke up at 6AM (and that’s just a part of the timeline!) What’s going on?” he wrote.