Google Search Is Showing Invitations To Private WhatsApp Groups

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WhatsApp groups don’t seem to be as private as they look to be as Google is indexing some of the WhatsApp group invitations in its search engine. DW journalist Jordan Wildon has noticed that Google is indexing at least some WhatsApp group invitations in its search, making them publicly available on the internet to join.

While none of the group links doesn’t include any harmless data, some of the contain sensitive information. Motherboard discovered one group apparently aimed at UN-accredited non-governmental organizations where it was possible to see the list of all 48 participants, including their phone numbers.

A WhatsApp spokesperson asserted these links were shared in “searchable, public channels,” and that people who want to keep links private shouldn’t share them on publicly reachable sites. Google’s public search liaison, Danny Sullivan also commented on this saying that t was “no different” than any other situation where sites allow links to be publicly listed. He added that Google offers tools to block content from being listed.

For group owners, it is mandatory to tell their participants not to share the group links to other publicly visible sites or media as they might be fetched by the Search engines. So, to make the private groups remain private, one must take care of the group links from being shared to public channels. 

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