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Though WhatsApp has over 400 million active users, it has been a late entrant in payments and micro-insurance.afp (MINT_PRINT)
Though WhatsApp has over 400 million active users, it has been a late entrant in payments and micro-insurance.afp (MINT_PRINT)

WhatsApp clarifies after profile info, group invites surface on Google search

The WhatsApp's clarification came after a cybersecurity researcher pointed out the vulnerability in a Twitter post.

WhatsApp clarified on Monday that it has been taking steps to prevent the Google indexing of its users and group invites. The WhatsApp's clarification came after cybersecurity researcher Rajshekhar Rajaharia pointed out to the vulnerability in a Twitter post.

"Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the "noindex" tag on all deep link pages which, according to Google, will exclude them from indexing. We have given our feedback to Google to not index these chats," WhatsApp responded to a news report published on this portal.

"Like all content that is shared in searchable, public channels, invite links that are posted publicly on the internet can be found by other WhatsApp users. Links that users wish to share privately with people they know and trust should not be posted on a publicly accessible website," the statement said.

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The indexing error is a repeat of February 2020 when Google and WhatsApp had received a lot of criticism as some public groups, along with chats and member information, started showing up on Google search results. The issue was claimed to be resolved back then.

"Your @WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are. WhatsApp Group Chat Invite Links, User Profiles Made Public Again on @Google Again," Rajaharia said in a Twitter post.

WhatsApp further added, "As a reminder, whenever someone joins a group, everyone in that group receives a notice and the admin can revoke or change the group invite link at any time."

WhatsApp said that the indexing issue has been resolved.

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