There are countless stories of privacy breached among companies in the Facebook group. Whether on the social network of Mark Zuckerberg, or on Instagram and especially WhatsApp, the number of cases of non-respect of privacy is becoming significant. This week, a new investigation found that WhatsApp messaging would have let the private discussions of his service get indexed by Google.
In other words less technical, our colleagues from VICE have just lifted the veil on a major problem: the private discussions created on WhatsApp messaging are visible publicly by a simple search on Google. Their privacy is only the name, and it is easy to be able to access them, and claim to retrieve the numbers from the lists.
WhatsApp and its “private” discussions
VICE is part of a singular find to reveal a mass problem. After working on bank card confidentiality a few days ago, the media today criticizes the allegedly “private” discussions of WhatsApp.
To be able to find discussions on Google, just type “chat.whatsapp.com”, before noting down information specific to the chat. In the search results, private discussions are displayed, as they are indexed by Google on its search engine. In an article revealing this case, VICE lists 470,000 search results related to this query in “chat.whatsapp.com”.
Whose fault is it ? Well, contrary to what you might think, it comes down to WhatsApp, not Google. Because for Google not to index these groups and their URLs, the messaging must specify it. This brings up the real question to ask: was WhatsApp aware that these pages were indexed, and was it on purpose to leave them visible?
VICE tried to ask the Facebook and WhatsApp teams the question. At the moment, the media has not received a response. They only cite Google’s response, which explains what the pages are indexed for on its platform: “Search engines like Google and others list open web pages. That’s what’s going on here. This is no different from all cases where a site allows the public list of URLs. We offer tools that allow sites to block content listed in our results. ”