WhatsApp users should be careful when downloading apps on their android smartphone as if you don’t read an app’s permissions attentively before installing, your WhatsApp chat history could end up in a stranger’s hands. According to security consultant Bosschert it’s possible for others to access your private WhatsApp chats through downloaded Android apps.
Bosschert quoted in a blog — the WhatsApp database is saved on your phone’s SD card, which can be read by any Android app if a user gives it access to do so. This is a common practice in the app space, so if an app asks for SD card access many, in theory, would grant it.
WhatsApp for Android stores conversations on the phone’s SD card, which is accessible by many other apps on the phone as long as the user gives those apps the permissions they ask for. This is an infrastructure issue for Android more than a gaping security flaw on the part of WhatsApp.
By comparison, Apple doesn’t allow access to data outside of an app’s own sandbox, which stops malicious developers from tinkering with your data through a dummy app, as described above.
It is unclear what WhatsApp will do to address these concerns, but hopefully something will be done soon for the sake of their users’ privacy.
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