When we create a private chat on any social network, we expect that only invited contacts will have access to them. This seemed like a well-defined idea, at least until we got to know Vice’s new report.
According to what this publication is reporting, a simple Google search is enough to find a private WhatsApp chat. An incredible security breach that, once again, plagues Facebook and its privacy policies.
An invitation to these private chats is nothing more than a URL with some more specific characters. As we know, Google is a huge indexer of URL links and what is happening is that these invitations are appearing in its database.
The fault seems to be really WhatsApp
This data is important to mention so that we do not start crucifying Google for this event. Apparently, WhatsApp is forgetting to “tell” Google not to index its private links.
In short, Google uses crawlers to organize and store information about websites in its database, including URLs. Those responsible for the sites have the power to tell Google not to index that link. Well, Facebook (responsible for WhatsApp) has skipped that step.
This being the case, it will be quite simple for the company to solve the problem. We hope that you will do so quickly so that our correspondence can remain private.
The bad thing about this scenario is not only the improper access to correspondence that should be between a certain group of people. When accessing these private chats, it is also possible to collect names, numbers and other contact information for their members.
Google and Facebook have not yet commented on this security breach
Vice, responsible for publishing this story, contacted both companies to no avail. At the time of writing this news, neither of them wanted to comment on what happened.
The truth is that this news turns out to be more damaging to Facebook than to Google. Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been involved in several scandals regarding the security of its users’ data and this is yet another case of its kind.
EBox editors recommend: