Hyderabad: The latest version of WhatsApp, which asks for additional access to files on his phone, in addition to the usual photos and media, has users in the city wary of Android 2.23.2.8 update.

“While these permissions are not inherently dangerous, as WhatsApp cannot access them unless the user gives permission, they can be misused. Additional access does not make sense, especially when the user granted them years ago at the very beginning,” said Amman Raj, an educator.

WhatsApp’s privacy policy, under its sections “How we use your information” and “Safety, security and integrity”, reads as follows: “Safety, security and integrity are an integral part of our services. We use information we have to verify accounts and activity; combat harmful behavior; protect users from bad experiences and spam; and promote safety, security and integrity on and off our services, for example by investigating suspicious activity or violations of our terms and policies, and ensuring that our services are used lawfully.”

Raj said the additional requests, however, do not fit the policy.

Cybersecurity expert Rupesh Mittal said that while the update hasn’t been properly investigated yet, the permission request still looks fishy, ​​given WhatsApp’s “encryption assured” policy.

Abhishek S., a former Meta employee, said these permissions are mostly harmless. “Sometimes when a phone is reset or newly updated, the app may have lost its original access to your media and therefore asks for them to be renewed. This is not uncommon,” he said.

Rupesh, Founder-Director of Cyber ​​Jagrithi and Safety Foundation, said: “Choose permissions and access wisely which are of absolute importance. asking to accept the updated policy and allowed only to get rid of it.Some didn’t and don’t care even if the pop-up gets annoying.

Another way is to turn on privacy notifications that tell you whenever your camera or microphone is accessed, sometimes even when you haven’t turned them on. This feature is now integrated into most Android phones. The final tip is to allow access only when you have a file to share and turn it off when done.”

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