Google owns up to WhatsApp bug showing unauthorized microphone access

WhatsApp logo on a phone screen
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android officially acknowledges WhatsApp-related bugs from May.
  • It is a bug from Android's end that has been fixed now.
  • Users must stay updated with the latest WhatsApp version to address the issue.

Google apologized to some WhatsApp consumers on Android devices who faced a privacy-related bug from last month, which may have caused confusion.

For context, in early May, a Twitter engineer using a Pixel 7 Pro found WhatsApp accessing their microphone all through the night several times while they were asleep. Soon after, several other Pixel and Android device users also noticed the same and took their concerns to social media.

WhatsApp was quick enough to get in touch with the Twitter engineer, Foad Dabiri, and concluded that it was an Android-related bug, which misattributed microphone information in their Privacy Dashboard. The company also noted in a response tweet that is has contacted Google regarding the issue.

Cut to one month later, Android Developers followed up with a new Tweet to clarify that the problem was, in fact, an Android-related bug and not the fault of WhatsApp.

The tweet further explains the concerned bug has "produced erroneous privacy indicators and notifications" in the Privacy Dashboard — a tool found on many Android phones to let users know what kind of data is being used by the apps installed.

To remove the bug, the search giant recommends users remain updated with the latest version of WhatsApp, which could clear the air for users. This process not only helps to fix bugs but also helps in bringing the latest features to the messaging platform.

Speaking of, WhatsApp recently rolled out a new update to help users stay on top of their privacy, including all screening for spam calls and a new Privacy Checkup hub to inform users about the tools available to them. Also, early this month, the Meta-owned messaging service introduced a new "Channels" feature for a better one-way broadcasting service. Users joining the channels will also have their phone numbers hidden in the "Channels, " and for their admins, to maintain privacy standards.

Vishnu Sarangapurkar
News Writer

Vishnu works as a freelance News Writer for Android Central. For the past four years, he's been writing about consumer technology, primarily involving smartphones, laptops, and every other gizmo connected to the Internet. When he is away from keyboard, you can see him going on a long drive or chilling on a couch binge-watching some crime series.