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Phone numbers of WhatsApp Web users are now available on Google search: Report

Phone numbers of WhatsApp web users have appeared on Google Search. This is apparently the third time that this has happened.

WhatsApp Web

WhatsApp is using a “Robots.txt” file and a “disallow all” setting, instructing search engines not to index anything. (Image: WhatsApp)


WhatsApp has reportedly exposed the phone numbers of its web users on Google Search via indexing. This means that anybody with the right search query can find your personal number on Google very easily. The search result will showcase the number only, and not your name. However, with a simple Truecaller search your identity can also be detected. Also Read - WhatsApp update brings Focus Mode, new voice messages feature to iPhones

According to Rajshekhar Rajaharia, an internet security researcher, phone numbers of WhatsApp web users have appeared on Google Search. In his tweet, Rajaharia stated that this is the third time that this has happened. He also states that Google is also indexing the text messages of users. Also Read - Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Google's Sundar Pichai to be honoured with Padma Bhushan on India's 73rd Republic Day

In a statement to IANS, Rajaharia stated, “The leak is happening via WhatsApp on Web. If someone is using WhatsApp on a laptop or on an office PC, the mobile numbers are being indexed on Google Search. These are mobile numbers of individual users, not business numbers.”

In a follow-up tweet, he also mentions that WhatsApp is using a “Robots.txt” file and a “disallow all” setting, instructing search engines not to index anything. However, Google is still indexing the data and showing it in search results.

To recall, WhatsApp group chat links were also indexed on Google search recently, allowing people to simply search the name of the group and then join it. The issue was soon resolved with the removal of all such links.

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  • Published Date: January 16, 2021 6:53 PM IST
  • Updated Date: January 16, 2021 6:56 PM IST



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