Google has finally identified and fixed an Android bug that caused it whatsapp to gain unauthorized access to a smartphone’s microphone.
If you’re not super familiar with the story, around early April some people started noticing, and reporting online, that the software was using their device’s microphone without permission. This issue came to a head on May 6 when Twitter engineer Foad Dabiri noticed WhatsApp has gained access on the microphone of his Pixel 7 Pro at least nine times a morning. Every time the error occurs, a notification appears letting him know what happened. Official Twitter account of WhatsApp responded, claiming that the problem was caused by an Android bug that didn’t account for information on the phone’s Privacy Dashboard, and then went on to ask Google to make a quick fix. It took the tech giant nearly two months to identify the issue, but thankfully, the day has finally arrived.
the official Android Developers Twitter account recently stated that the bug only affects a “limited number of WhatsApp users”, which explains why it is not a widespread problem. To patch the security error and stop the notifications, Google says that all you have to do is install the latest version of WhatsApp, which we recommend you do.
There is no reason to panic
To this day, no one knows what caused the microphone bug in the first place. The technical details surrounding the bug are almost non-existent as neither Google nor Meta (the parent company of WhatsApp) has revealed any details. There is nothing about it in the Android 13 changelog Android Developer Website.
But one thing that can be said is that it was never recorded. as WABetaInfo clarified, WhatsApp never gets access to the microphone of anyone’s mobile device. It just triggers the notifications causing them to get a little confused. This in turn has resulted in some people online thinking they are being spied on or their privacy has been violated, but in reality, nothing of the sort has happened. We’ve reached out to Google to see if the company is willing to divulge any more information about the fix. This story will be updated when we hear back.
Having the piece of mind knowing that your information is safe and unrecorded is important for many users. However, software cannot solve everything. If you want to take your security to the next level, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of most secure smartphones for June 2023.