Google and WhatsApp have acknowledged the existence of a bug that appears to show WhatsApp unnecessarily accessing microphones on certain Android devices. This issue was first reported a month ago and has recently regained attention after a Twitter engineer, Foad Dabiri, tweeted a screenshot from Android’s Privacy Dashboard that appeared to show the microphone repeatedly running in the background even when the app was not in use. The tweet was subsequently retweeted by Elon Musk, who expressed his distrust of WhatsApp and his preference for Signal. WhatsApp has suggested that the bug is related to Android and not a result of inappropriate microphone access by the messaging app. The company believes that the issue is a misattribution of information in Android’s Privacy Dashboard and has asked Google to investigate and resolve the issue.
WhatsApp blog wabetainfo had also highlighted the bug earlier, describing it as a “false positive” that affects some Pixel and Samsung devices. They recommended restarting the phone as a possible fix. Google has confirmed that it is working closely with WhatsApp to investigate the issue but has not provided any further information on what might be causing the discrepancy.
The bug falsely reporting microphone access on some Android phones has caught the attention of both Google and WhatsApp. WhatsApp has suggested that the issue is an Android-related bug and has requested Google to investigate and fix it.