WhatsApp group links & Mobile no’s are available on Google
WhatsApp group links were apparent on Google by a simple web search; according to recent research, overall 1,700 private WhatsApp Group links have been visible on the Internet Google.
Posted by Internet security researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia, the research maintained that the groups’ links open on the Internet posed a threat to WhatsApp users’ privacy. Rajaharia had partaken screenshots of the WhatsApp group links on his Twitter profile on Sunday afternoon.
“Anyone who had access to these group links could join these private groups, see the members there, and also have full access to the group members’ phone numbers and profile photos,” he said TOI on Sunday.
On Monday, WhatsApp fixed the problem, and the links were not visible on Google after WhstApp fixed the issue. “Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the “no index” tag on all deep link pages, which, according to Google, will eliminate them from indexing. We have provided our feedback to Google not to index these chats. As a note, whenever someone joins a group, everyone in that group gets a notice, and the admin can remove or change the group invite link at any time,” a WhatsApp spokesperson said in a statement.
According to Rajaharia, the concern started because “WhatsApp users to create rich preview links of group chat invites that ultimately may allow search engine crawlers to recognize the links and then index them for future searches.”
An index is a different name for the database used by a search engine. This is the second time that WhatsApp has encountered this issue. The Facebook-owned messaging platform WhatsApp had stated in 2020 that it had fixed an issue that was creating phone numbers to show up on Google.
WhatsApp combined that invite links are searchable only when they are posted publicly on the Internet.
“Links that users wish to share privately with people they recognize should not be posted on a publicly accessible website,” the spokesperson added.
However, according to Rajaharia, a “no index” tag is not sufficient to stop crawlers from indexing a website page. “There has been negligence from WhatsApp’s end. They require to use robots.txt files to stop indexing altogether. But that would mean they have to reconfigure their domains, which is a long method,” he added.