WhatsApp Spying On Android Users At Night? Google Says It Is Just A Bug

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A Google Pixel user, who is an engineer at Twitter, reported his microphone being accessed by WhatsApp at night. However, Google and Whatsapp have confirmed that this is just a bug and is being looked into.

In Short:

  • WhatsApp users were concerned that the app is spying on them.
  • However, this is just a bug.
  • A Google spokesperson confirmed the bug in android.


A couple of days back, a Twitter engineer’s tweet had gone viral according to which, his WhatsApp microphone was in use even though he was fast asleep. The tweet quickly gained attention, and people started worrying that WhatsApp was ‘spying’ on them through the microphones at night. Even Elon Musk had replied to the viral tweet and said that ‘WhatsApp cannot be trusted’. Now, it is to be noted here that Mr. Musk isn’t exactly fond of Meta and has often warned against its different applications every now and then.

Coming back to the Twitter engineer’s tweet, it showed an Android dashboard that revealed how WhatsApp had been accessing his microphone in the background from 4:20 am till 6:53 am.

Twitter engineer’s tweet on WhatsApp using microphone

The Twitter engineer, named Foad Dabiri, shared the screenshot of the Android dashboard and wrote, “WhatsApp has been using the microphone in the background, while I was asleep and since I woke up at 6AM (and that’s just a part of the timeline!) What’s going on?”

Google talks about the issue

Dabiri was using a Google Pixel phone which is how Google’s name got embroiled in this controversy. WhatsApp had earlier said that they have asked Google to look into the matter and a Google spokesperson had also confirmed that the company was checking what is going on.

And as per recent reports, a Google spokesperson confirmed that there was indeed a bug in Android that was producing inaccurate information. The spokesperson told Engadget, “Based on our current investigation, this reported bug in Android affecting WhatsApp users produces incorrect privacy indicators and notifications in the Privacy Dashboard. We are working to develop a fix for users.”

WhatsApp’s stance on the bug

Earlier, WhatsApp, in a tweet, had clarified the situation and wrote that the issue was arising due to a bug in android. In another tweet, WhatsApp added that its users have ‘full control’ over their microphone settings and that the mic can be accessed only when a user is making a call or is recording a voice note or video.

The company’s tweets read, “Over the last 24 hours we’ve been in touch with a Twitter engineer who posted an issue with his Pixel phone and WhatsApp. We believe this is a bug on Android that mis-attributes information in their Privacy Dashboard and have asked Google to investigate and remediate.”

“Users have full control over their mic settings Once granted permission, WhatsApp only accesses the mic when a user is making a call or recording a voice note or video – and even then, these communications are protected by end-to-end encryption so WhatsApp cannot hear them.”

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