While rumors abound that WhatsApp is ready to unveil its new voice calling feature, the company is suffering from a public relations nightmare. Reports abound about a security flaw in the app which may let people get access to a user’s personal information.
A report in England’s The Independent has cited a 17 year old security researcher Indrajeet Bhuyan who uncovered a security problem in WhatsApp that lets anyone see users’ profile photos, even if they have been set to be viewable to friends only.
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Sure that may not seem like such a big deal to most people. But some do not like having anyone, anywhere be able to see their picture. Also, if it is so easy, due to a bug, to reveal pictures then people are wondering what other personal information can be gotten to from WhatsApp by hackers.
As security expert Graham Cluley wrote in a blog post on the matter, “Sure, it’s not the most serious privacy breach that has ever occurred, but that’s missing the point. The fact of the matter is that WhatsApp users chose to keep their profile photos private, and their expectation is that WhatsApp will honor their choices and only allow their photos to be viewable by those who the user has approved.”
Meanwhile Pradnesh Patil posted a screenshot of what purports to be WhatsApp’s soon to be available new voice calling feature.
“I can’t seem to send invites to other people; the only thing I can ensure is that it works in India for people running Lollipop 5.0.x on a Nexus 5. Other Indians without the earlier combo don’t get it, ” he wrote.
Patil also said, “They can receive a call indicating and verifying that the feature is working as intended, but it isn’t giving them a chance to call me back or use the feature ahead.” And “A friend of mine called me, I had to answer the call, then force close it. Restart. Some people reported the feature after this step but I needed to reinstall the app.”
For its own part the company has stated that it does not yet have a release date for its new voice calling service and that it is currently only being beta tested.