Google Acknowledges Android Bug Displaying Constant WhatsApp Microphone Access Incorrectly

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Google Acknowledges Android Bug Displaying Constant WhatsApp Microphone Access Incorrectly
Google Acknowledges WhatsApp Bug Impacting Android Privacy Dashboard /

Last month, there were reports about a problem with WhatsApp for Android that gave the impression it was always using the microphone. Today, Google acknowledged the issue and provided a simple solution.

In a tweet from the Android Developers account this afternoon, Google mentioned a recent bug in Android that affected a small number of WhatsApp users. This bug caused incorrect privacy indicators and notifications to appear in the Android Privacy Dashboard.

Specifically, it seemed like WhatsApp was continuously accessing the microphone on Android devices, which could have serious privacy implications if it were true.

At the time, WhatsApp believed it was an Android bug that incorrectly displayed information in their Privacy Dashboard rather than the app itself accessing the microphone more than necessary.

This tweet, requesting Google to investigate and fix the issue, received much attention, as these matters are typically resolved directly between engineering teams. The response highlighted the sensitivity of microphone privacy, particularly for Meta (formerly known as Facebook).

Today, Google confirmed the problem and stated that the fix is to update WhatsApp to the latest version. They thanked WhatsApp for their collaboration and apologized for any confusion caused by this bug.

So far, we have a few technical details about this issue. Last month, The widely shared example occurred on a Pixel device, which was recently updated to Android 13 QPR3. However, the changelog for that update doesn't mention anything about this issue or the fix. Another possibility is that the fix for the problem is included in the latest WhatsApp update.