WhatsApp says mic usage in background on Android devices is due to an Android bug

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Meta owned WhatsApp has been constantly under the microscope for playing fast and loose with privacy even though the company claims to provide a secure and privateway to communicate with people.

Now, a Twitter engineer has discovered that WhatsApp accessed his Pixel 7 Pro's microphone during the night even though he was not the one using it. In a tweet Foad Dabiri mentioned that WhatsApp has been using his phone's microphone in background during the night and since the morning.

WhatsApp refuted the claims saying that this is an Android bug "that mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard" and that the company had asked Google to investigate the issue. Furthermore, WhatsApp reiterated that users have full control over their mic settings and that the app will "only accesses the mic when a user is making a call or recording a voice note or video".

Meanwhile, Twitter CEO, Elon Musk took this opportunity to remind his followers that they should not trust WhatsApp.

This is not the first time users have reported seeing WhatsApp access microphone even when they were not using the app. As documented by PiunikaWeb, some users have noticed this issue for more than a month with no confirmed fix in sight.

In case you are worried about privacy, you can go to your phone's setting and disable microphone access to WhatsApp until the issue is resolved. Furthermore, the recent versions of Android come with a Privacy Dashboard that gives you a timeline of when an app accessed your microphone for better transparency.

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