WhatsApp Group Chat Invite Links Are Being Indexed by Google

  • A report has revealed how Google has indexed WhatsApp group invite links that were not meant to be shared, raising concerns about user privacy.
  • It is said that around 470,000 group invitation links were exposed due to the indexing.
  • Facebook had received a complaint about Google indexing chat URLs a few months ago, but the company brushed it aside by saying that group admins can invalidate these links if they chose to.

WhatsApp is in the controversy again, and it’s raised some concerns among its users. DW journalist Jordan Wildon posted a cryptic tweet saying – “Your WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are.”

He then elaborated on how Google has indexed around 470,000 group invite links on google.com, exposing them to anyone who can perform a basic Google search.

This means that any WhatsApp group invite link posted online is accessible in this fashion. Thankfully, this appears limited to group chats, and private conversations are seemingly not affected.

While Google hasn’t responded to this revelation. separate investigations from other sources have now revealed that some of the group links indexed were definitely not meant to be shared. This has definitely raised some serious concerns among social media users, particularly those who have private groups that were indexed on Google.

A separate tweet by Jane Wong suggests that this was due to a misconfiguration on WhatsApp’s end. But wait for more details from WhatsApp or Google on the matter before jumping to conclusions.

WhatsApp’s parent company, Facebook, may have some explaining to do as well, given that it is now being said that this particular issue was reported to the company a few months ago.

Facebook has come under fire before from all sides for allegedly aiding the spread of misinformation during the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections. This new controversy may be directed towards WhatsApp, but it seems like Facebook will have to bear the brunt for most of it.

Source: @JordanWildon