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How to check if your WhatsApp is accessing your microphone without permission?

Recently, it was stated that WhatsApp has been listening to your communication, even when the smartphone or app is not in use. Here is how you can check if the information is true.

Saumya Nigam Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: May 15, 2023 19:35 IST
WhatsApp, smartphone, microphone
Image Source : FILE Is WhatsApp secretly accessing your smartphone's microphone? Know how to check

WhatsApp, the renowned messaging platfrom has faced a significant allegation recently. A Twitter engineer made a claim that WhatsApp accessed his smartphone's microphone while he was asleep, leading to widespread attention and scrutiny. The engineer further supported his allegation by sharing a screenshot showcasing WhatsApp's microphone access on social media. This accusation raised concerns worldwide regarding privacy and the extent to which apps may have access to personal data without explicit user knowledge or consent.

The engineer's claims gained significant credibility when Twitter CEO Elon Musk shared the engineer's post on Twitter, expressing his concerns about the potential threat to privacy. This amplified the matter, leading to both Google and Meta (formerly Facebook) needing to address the issue and provide clarification. Representatives from both companies stated that the alleged microphone access was due to a bug and not an intentional breach of privacy. The situation brought attention to the importance of ensuring robust privacy measures and transparent communication between users and technology companies.

A major question arises regarding whether WhatsApp has the capability to access the microphone or camera on a smartphone, even when the app is not in use.

To determine if WhatsApp has been accessing your smartphone's microphone, it is crucial to consider two factors-

  1. First, your smartphone must be running on Android 12 or a higher version
  2. Second, microphone access for WhatsApp should be enabled on your device.

To check if WhatsApp is accessing your smartphone's microphone, follow these steps:

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  1. Open the Settings app on your Android 12 or above device.
  2. Navigate to the "Apps & notifications" or "Apps" section.
  3. Locate and tap on "WhatsApp" from the list of installed apps.
  4. Inside the WhatsApp app settings, look for the "Permissions" or "App permissions" option.
  5. Tap on "Microphone" to view the microphone access settings for WhatsApp.
  6. Ensure that the microphone access toggle switch is turned on or enabled.

By following these steps, you can verify whether WhatsApp has permission to access your smartphone's microphone. It is essential to review and manage app permissions regularly to ensure your privacy and control over your device's functionalities.

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