Victory for users: WhatsApp corrects a privacy issue in group messaging


San Francisco – In a win for users, WhatsApp has solved a long-standing privacy issue in group messaging, where users can be added to a group without their permission. This problem was one of the targets of "Fix It already!", An Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) campaign calling for the repair of security and privacy breaches that do not respect users' control and put us all at risk. in danger.

"Without this type of control, an unwanted group invitation would expose your phone number to all members of a group and could even involve you in the disinformation campaign of someone else," said Gennie. Gebhart, Associate Director of Research at EFF.

WhatApp users could always leave an email group or block an email group after they were added. But there was no way to control the fact of being added to the group in the first place. In the changes announced today in a blog, WhatsApp has announced that users can now access their account settings and choose from three group messaging options: "Person", no one can automatically add you to a group without your explicit consent; "My Contacts", where only your contacts can add you without express consent; or "Everyone", where no one needs your consent. These changes will be available for some users as of today, but for all those who use the latest version of WhatsApp in the coming weeks.

EFF launched "Fix It Now!" On February 28, targeting nine major privacy and security issues related to major consumer technology products. The list attributes to Facebook the reuse of customers' phone numbers for advertising, even if the user has provided this number only for security purposes. Google has been called to not allow Android phone users to deny and revoke network permissions for apps. Apple, Twitter, Verizon, Microsoft, Slack and Venmo are also on EFF's list.

"We are pleased to see that WhatsApp solves this problem and would like other email applications to follow suit," said Gebhart. "The time has come for the other eight products and platforms we've called in Fix It Now! to catch."

For more information on Fix It Already!

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