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IT Ministry to examine claim of WhatsApp accessing mic in background

Minister of State Rajeev Chandrasekhar called the claim that WhatsApp was accessing microphone permissions while a user was sleeping an “unacceptable breach” and “violation of privacy”.

Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Rajeev Chandrasekhar said on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, that the IT Ministry would investigate a claim that WhatsApp accessed a user’s microphone while he was sleeping. “WhatsApp has been using the microphone in the background, while I was asleep and since I woke up at 6AM,” Foad Dabiri, an engineering director at Twitter said on Saturday. “What’s going on?”

The tweet went viral, attracting over 60 million views. WhatsApp said in a statement posted before Mr. Chandrasekhar’s tweet that the issue was likely a bug. “We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate,” the company said after getting in touch with Mr. Dabiri.

Mr. Chandrasekhar said that the government’s investigation would happen in spite of the fact that India doesn’t yet have a data protection bill. The IT Ministry “will act on any violation of privacy even as [the] new Digital Personal Data protection bill #DPDP is being readied,” Mr. Chandrasekhar tweeted.

Posted on: 5/10/2023 12:42:18 AM


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