Your private WhatsApp chat might be easily discoverable with a Google search

Turns out your private WhatsApp group might not be so private.

Your private WhatsApp chat might be easily discoverable with a Google search
According to a new report from Vice, private WhatsApp group invites might not actually be so private. Through some pretty basic Google searching, it’s relatively easy to gain access to private chat groups. Normally, private WhatsApp group chats are only accessible via an invite code that gets handed out by the moderators of the chat. These invite codes, though, are simply URLs with specific strings of text. It appears that Google is indexing at least some of these invites which enables pretty much anyone with Google access to find them. Now, before you get out the pitchforks and start storming Google’s gate, from the outset this appears to be a WhatsApp problem (or, more specifically, a Facebook problem, as it owns WhatsApp). Google uses crawlers to index URLs across the internet and it is very easy for websites and apps to place a line of code on pages that tells these Google crawlers not to index the information there. The likely reason behind this problem is WhatsApp failing to do this. Related: Insightful tips to help you use Google Search the right way! Vice reached out to both Google and Facebook about this matter but didn’t receive a response. If you want to comb through Google Search to find out if your private WhatsApp group is indexed, just start with a “chat.whatsapp.com” string and then enter in some information specific to your chat. Vice did this and was able to find several chat groups related to sharing porn as well as a chat that describes itself as being for NGOs accredited by the United Nations. These chat groups listed out members’ names as well as contact information, in some cases phone numbers. This story will no doubt make the rounds today and WhatsApp and Facebook will need to respond soon. There’s about to be a lot of angry users. More posts about WhatsApp WhatsApp Pay gets closer to rollout in India Adamya Sharma 2 weeks ago WhatsApp will stop working on Android 2.3.7 devices and older starting tomorrow Phillip Prado 3 weeks ago WhatsApp dark mode is finally here (for some users) Hadlee Simons 1 month ago Facebook redacts controversial plan to pump ads into WhatsApp… for now Phillip Prado 1 month ago Facebook owns 4 out of the 5 most downloaded apps of 2019 Phillip Prado 1 month ago 5 Android apps you shouldn’t miss this week – Android Apps Weekly Joe Hindy 2 months ago WhatsApp tipped to get disappearing messages soon: Here’s how it works (Updated) Hadlee Simons 2 months ago FTC could block Facebook merging WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram C. Scott Brown 2 months ago WhatsApp now lets you create reminders, tasks thanks to Any.do integration Hadlee Simons 3 months ago 10 best messenger apps and chat apps for Android! Joe Hindy 3 months ago