The claim that Meta-owned WhatsApp activated the device’s mic by itself, allowing it to listen to whatever is being said, went viral after Foad Dabiri tweeted that this was occurring while he slept. Twitter CEO Elon Musk replied to the discussion by saying “WhatsApp can’t be trusted.”
WhatsApp cannot be trusted https://t.co/3gdNxZOLLy
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 9, 2023
Dabiri tweeted an image showing it happening every two minutes between 4:20 and 6:53 in the morning.
WhatsApp responded by claiming that the problem was caused by a “bug” on Android.
In the past 24 hours, we have been in contact with a Twitter Engineer who had posted a problem with his Pixel Phone and WhatsApp.
We think this is a bug in Android that misattributes the information on their Privacy Dashboard. We have asked Google for an investigation and to rectify.
WhatsApp will only listen to communications that are encrypted end-to-end.
One Twitter user’s response:
Would you sue Elon Musk for defamation if that 100% is true?
Dabiri is not the only person who has complained about this problem over the last month.
Some Twitter users reported that they deleted WhatsApp after seeing the microphone activated in the background.
Reddit is another place where users have noticed that WhatsApp has activated the microphone.
A post 10 days ago described a situation similar to that shared by Dabiri.
The green dot is on all day. The Reddit user wrote: “When I click on it, it says WhatsApp is accessing the microphone every 3-4 minutes.”
Is anyone else experiencing this problem? “The only solution I found was to turn off the permissions in WhatsApp settings. But it’s not practical for someone who makes a lot of WhatsApp calls.”
Musk acknowledged that many Americans did not know that Meta/Facebook-owned WhatsApp.
It’s incredible how many people don’t realize that WhatsApp is owned by Meta / Facebook
— Gannon Breslin (@gannonbreslin) May 9, 2023
Musk said that “the WhatsApp founders left Meta/Facebook with disgust, started the #deletefacebook campaigns & made significant contributions to building Signal.” “What they discovered about Facebook & its changes to WhatsApp clearly disturbed them greatly.”
Musk also raised concerns about what Twitter was doing before he became CEO, indicating that the government had accessed DMs.
It’s pretty crazy. WhatsApp is used by about two billion people around the globe, so it’s not a small problem. It’s understandable that the possibility of such a thing being compromised is extremely alarming. It’s easy to believe things could be compromised, given what we have seen in the past about efforts to control narratives on social media. It’s important to remember that social media are not completely free of such issues. You can tell that you’re being tracked based on what you see in the ads displayed on your computer. We should also do everything we can to prevent the government from having access to private conversations.