A WhatsApp bug showing users incorrect privacy indicators and notifications in the privacy dashboard went viral after an engineer working for Twitter shared screenshots claiming that WhatsApp accesses and uses his phone’s microphone when he’s asleep.
The issue escalated when Elon Musk responded to the tweet and said that accessing the WhatsApp microphone was “strange”.
Meta and Google confirmed that it is a bug in the Android operating system that displays incorrect microphone usages in the privacy dashboard.
But there are several ways you can determine if WhatsApp is accessing your phone’s microphone or camera.
All you have to do is follow some steps
Android smartphone running version 12 or higher
An active WhatsApp account with microphone access
Steps to check if WhatsApp is using the microphone in the background
With the launch of Android 12, Google added a dedicated privacy dashboard to the operating system that allows users to track all permissions given to apps as well as track their usage schedule with time and date.
This privacy dashboard will help us determine if WhatsApp is using a microphone in an inactive state.
But before that check if you randomly see a green indicator in the top right corner.
This indicates that there are some applications that are using either the camera or the microphone.
Here’s how to check if WhatsApp is using a microphone in the background
You need to make sure that you haven’t used WhatsApp to make calls, record a voice note, or create an audio status.
Open Settings on your Android phone and tap on the Privacy and Security option
Scroll down and tap on Privacy
Tap the microphone icon to check the full timeline of all the apps that have used your microphone.
Check if WhatsApp used the microphone when it was not in use.
If the answer is yes, then WhatsApp is likely not affected by the latest bug.
But if he’s using the microphone, there’s a problem.
What should you do if WhatsApp is using the microphone in the background?
The first step in this case should be to disable microphone access from WhatsApp.
Just head to WhatsApp from the Applications section and then disable microphone access.