A new weakness discovered in WhatsApp lets others stalk the activity patterns of users.
(CCM) — Despite a slew of claims of end-to-end encryption and privacy protection, WhatsApp has suffered a privacy breach. The bug, discovered by software engineer Robert Heaton, allows users to be snooped on, having their online statuses revealed without their knowledge.
While concerning, the issue only allows others to study user chatting patterns. It does not allow outsiders to access private messages and other private information. Additionally, this breach is only possible when the third party is added to the user’s contact list.
Until an update is released, there is nothing that a user can do to stop someone from monitoring their activity. While WhatsApp does offer an option to disable the “Last Seen at” feature, there is no way to disable the “Online Status” feature.
Such a vulnerability may not be of much use to a stalker, but for advertising companies, this information is a gold mine because it can help them target users according to their activity patterns.
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