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1591898918 WhatsApp does not filter phone numbers but in the structure
Home » WhatsApp does not filter phone numbers, but in the structure of its links there is a privacy issue

WhatsApp does not filter phone numbers, but in the structure of its links there is a privacy issue

A possible security flaw is making the media headlines: WhatsApp would be filtering out some of its users’ phone numbers. This is not true.It is true, however, that the links intended to share the conversation have a structure that does not facilitate privacy: the URL shows the mobile number.

Because WhatsApp is one of those near-universal applications, and is used by hundreds of millions of people around the world, any risk to your privacy often has a tremendous impact. And this is exactly what is happening these days: it has been warned that the messaging application does not hinder the search engine indexing of certain phone numbers. This happens when using the links to share the contact, the so-called click to chatThe link: these links reflect the number of the recipient in the URL, a fact that allowed the search engines to index them.

Sharing your WhatsApp as a link is risky

Whatsapp Click Chat Click window to chat

As reflected by our colleagues at Genbeta, search engines such as Google stored thousands of phone numbers from the links that many users shared on public Internet pages. Since the shared links include the number in the URL, whether you use the ‘ number’ or ‘site:úmero-de-móvil’ structureIf you want to publish the link on the Internet, it opens the door for anyone to contact the number. For better and for worse.

Although the risk to privacy exists, WhatsApp is not directly responsible for phone numbers appearing accessible on the Internet because the responsibility lies with the person who made them public. Even so, the URL structure used by the company is not the most appropriate to respect privacy to the fullest extent: it leaves the number completely open.

Whatsapp Robots Noindex Non-indexing tag now applied by WhatsApp on your chat page

To avoid indexing the phone numbers, WhatsApp has introduced the instruction ‘noindex’ in the ‘meta names robots’ tag of the pages with which the contacts are shared: this way search engines should not store the numbers between their pages (in theory, not all search ‘spiders’ respect non-indexing instructions), also previous records have been deleted (at least on Google). In response to the alleged security flaw WhatsApp has answered the following:

“Our click-to-chat feature, which allows users to create a URL with their phone number so that anyone can easily send them messages, is widely used by small and micro businesses around the world to connect with their customers.

“All WhatsApp users, including companies, can block unwanted messages at the touch of a button.

It is best never to post WhatsApp links that include the phone number: this way we minimise the risk of them being accessible to other people.

Via | Genbeta

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