Twitter CEO Elon Musk warned users of the Facebook-owned WhatsApp that it is secretly accessing their device microphones without their knowledge and violating their privacy.
Twitter’s director of engineering, Foad Dabri, posted a photo documenting his WhatsApp timeline which showed Zuckerberg’s messaging app was accessing his phone’s mic while he was asleep.
Elon Musk responded to the tweet, simply stating, “WhatsApp cannot be trusted.”
The WhatsApp Company later responded to the Twitter post claiming it had reached out to the Twitter engineer about the issue.
As expected, the company would not accept any blame and attempted to write the issue off as a simple bug, adding they had asked Google to investigate.
“We believe this is a bug on Android that misattributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate,” the company said.
But the issues with privacy with platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp are becoming more of a concern for Americans.
Four years after Mark Zuckerberg’s company, META, purchased WhatsApp in 2014, Michigan Democrat Senator Gary Peters asked Zuckerberg in 2018 whether or not Facebook was listening to platform users, which many at the time disregarded as a ” conspiracy theory.”
The accusation was that Facebook was secretly listening to users’ conversations to target advertising.
“Yes or no: Does Facebook use audio obtained from mobile devices to enrich personal information about its users?” Peters asked Zuckerberg at the time.
“No,” Zuckerberg replied.
Mediaite noted that there is an audio component for users who post video footage, which “was a bit of an unnecessary clarification, given that the question was about surreptitious recording, not something users were explicitly recording media to share.”
Musk posted a follow-up Tweet about his warning against WhatsApp:
“WhatsApp founders left Meta/Facebook in disgust, started the #deletefacebook campaign, and made major contributions to building Signal. What they learned about Facebook and changes to WhatsApp obviously disturbed them greatly.”
Meta has repeatedly decided that the platform is listening in on users’ private conversations, saying, “Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp do not listen in or use the cell phone microphone to influence advertising in any way.”
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