Anyone can now join the private Whatsapp group chat with a simple search because Google had made invite links for private Whatsapp chats.
Whatsapp on Monday informed the private group chats links being available on Google search stated that they have told Google not to index such chats and suggested that users not share the links on public websites.
Google has now removed the WhatsApp group chat links.
On Sunday, Rajshekhar Rajaharia, an independent cybersecurity researcher, has shared some screenshots with IANS, which showed Google indexing Whatsapp group chat invites.
According to Google, Whatsapp has added the noindex tag on all deep link pages since March 2020, which will exclude them from indexing. A Whatsapp spokesperson told IANS that feedback had been sent to Google not to index these chats.
The company spokesman further said that the links that people wish to share privately with people they trust and know should not be posted on websites that can be publicly accessible.
Last year in February, the first issue was cropped when Jane Wong, a reverse app engineer, found out that Google has almost 470,000 results for a simple search of chat.whatsapp.com, which makes up invites for WhatsApp groups through URL.
The invite-to-group link feature of Whatsapp lets Google index the groups making them available across the internet. The links are circulated outside Whatsapp secure private messaging service as was discovered by a journalist called Jordan Wildon.
Whenever someone joins a group, everyone in that group gets notified. The admin can revoke or change the group invite link at any time, as further stated by the Whatsapp spokesman.
Google’s public search liaison Danny Sullivan had earlier tweeted that some search engines like Google and others listed from the open web are no different from any other case where a site lets the URL be listed.
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