WhatsApp has reportedly exposed the phone numbers of the web users on Google Search via indexing.
If reports are to be believed, this development essentially means that anyone, sitting in any part of the world, with the right search query can find your personal phone number on Google easily.
The Google search result reportedly displays the phone number only, and not your name.
However, a simple Truecaller search can reveal your identity.
According to internet security researcher – Rajshekhar Rajaharia, phone numbers of WhatsApp web users appeared on Google Search.
He further alleged that Google is also indexing the text messages of users.
“15 Jan 2021, If you are using @WhatsApp Web, your Mobile Number and Messages are being index by @Google again. Don’t know why WhatsApp is still not monitoring their website and google. This is 3rd time,” Rajshekhar Rajaharia said in a tweet.
15 Jan 2021, If you are using @WhatsApp Web, your Mobile Number and Messages are being index by @Google again. Don't know why WhatsApp is still not monitoring their website and google. This is 3rd time.#Infosec #Privacy #infosecurity #GDPR #Whatsapp #Privacy #Policy #Google pic.twitter.com/D6o1emxDgv
— Rajshekhar Rajaharia (@rajaharia) January 15, 2021
Notably, a few days back, Group chat links were also available on Google Search.
Anybody could simply search the name of the group on Google and join a group on WhatsApp using the link.
However, WhatsApp soon took cognizance of the vulnerability.
WhatsApp said, “Since March 2020, WhatsApp has included the ‘no index’ 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.”