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App researchers report that WhatsApp group invites are searchable online

Some private WhatsApp group invite links may be searchable. (Source: WhatsApp)
Some private WhatsApp group invite links may be searchable. (Source: WhatsApp)
WhatsApp sets a lot of store by the privacy in messaging it supposedly offers. However, allegations that links that invite new users to private groups are searchable online have recently emerged. This is due to the fact Google has indexed them, meaning appropriate terms can bring them up.
Deirdre O Donnell,
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Recently, the journalist Jordan Wilton has alleged that the links that invite users to private WhatsApp groups have been indexed by Google and are thus now searchable online. The app reverse engineer Jane Manchun Wong has confirmed this, claiming that relatively elementary search terms bring up about 400000 of these links.

WhatsApp itself claims that this is only because the links had been shared publicly; however, Wong points out that the proper configurations could easily have prevented this. The situation may be a considerable blow to the Facebook-owned company, which prides itself on its data security and resulting integrity of the chats it supports.

However, it now seems that anyone using the necessary terms could gain access to private groups within the app, which may also enable them to view other sensitive data such as names or phone numbers. However, WhatsApp has yet to address these issues via its official channels.

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 3992 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-02-23 (Update: 2020-02-23)