WhatsApp ‘private’ groups were accessible to anybody on Google; here is what that means for users

By: |
January 11, 2021 5:26 PM

A problem that once occurred in 2019, seems to have surfaced again as some WhatsApp groups showed up on Google search again.

whatsapp,The message was visible to users just like any other user on the app.

A problem that once occurred in 2019, seems to have surfaced again as some WhatsApp groups showed up on Google search again. The company is said to have fixed this problem but according to media reports, user profiles are not showing in Google search results. With the WhatsApp groups showing up on Google, one can easily find or join a private WhatsApp group. All it needs is a simple Google search. If this is done, users’ phone numbers as well as their profile pictures can go public because of the issue.

The company has reportedly allowed indexing of group chat invites due to which several private groups can be made available across the Web and their links can easily be accessed by anyone. These links can pop up via a simple search query on Google and anyone who can find this link can join the group and see the participants. Not only this, posts that are shared in these groups can also be accessed. Last time when this problem had occurred, the company stated that from March 2020, WhatsApp has included the ‘noindex’ tag for all its deep link pages and this allows these links to be excluded from indexing. While links that surfaced in November 2019 are nowhere to be found but looks like some cases have come forth now.

Experts claim that a company like WhatsApp should find a proper solution for a problem like this rather than just offering a ‘noindex’ tag. More than 1,500 group invite links were noticed in the search results earlier.

Developers usually use robots.txt file that enables search engines like Google to crawl any page or not. WhatsApp has reportedly not used the robots.txt file for chat.whatsapp.com subdomain. This could have led to indexing of group chat invites on Google.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1HC seeks CCI stand on Facebook, WhatsApp appeals against single judge order on privacy policy
2Moto G40 Fusion: Smart device at a good price point
3True Wireless Stereo Earbuds: Stay plugged-in with these buds