A WhatsApp design error allows malicious people to use the application for stalking purposes

There is a serious design problem in WhatsAppthat was perfectly highlighted by “ Il Disinformatico ” based on an article by Vice.com. This problem potentially allows anyone to know when you are online and with whom you are communicating even if in the settings you have explicitly chosen to hide this information.

At present, it is not possible to really hide or deactivate your online status or “is typing …” and this also applies if you set the visible status to “no contact” under Settings> Account> Privacy> Status and if you set the visibility of the Last access to “None”.

In fact, there are various applications , sites and services (for a fee) that allow you to check if a user is online knowing only the phone number that completely bypasses the setting chosen by the user in WhatsApp. With a series of calculations, the algorithm also manages to calculate on a probabilistic basis which person you are chatting with, as long as you have both numbers in the address book.

In addition, you can know how long a user has been online for each chat session and you can receive notifications when a designated person opens Whatsapp and is online.

In technical terms all this is cyberstalking and yet it is an integrated function in WhatsApp. This is not a bug but it is part of the system with which WhatsApp was designed.

Trying one of these services with personal and family numbers, the results have been impressive. All the new chat sessions, the hours of activity were correctly detected and, through probabilistic calculations, the artificial intelligence began to analyze all the numbers in the address book to find a correspondence of connections and understand who we were chatting with .

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