WhatsApp is, without doubt, the most popular messaging app in the world. The popular messaging app has a user base of over 1.5 billion and it claims to ensure the privacy of its users with end-to-end encryption. But then, when we speak of online services, no amount of privacy can be enough and there are bugs that can always find their way into the app. And this is exactly what has happened to WhatsApp according to a tweet shared by an Amazon employee.
According to the tweet by Amazon employee named Abby Fuller, the instant messaging app has been affected by a bug that makes users’ chats and photographs visible to others. In her tweet. Fuller claimed that she could see some other user’s chat and private photos on her smartphone. She tweeted, “Logged into WhatsApp with a new phone number today and the message history from the previous owner’s number was right there? This doesn’t seem right.”
She’s right, of course, because this is not how it is supposed to work. Basically, with this bug, anyone who is using your old phone number will be able to access your chat history in the app. We have to say that this is downright scary as any stranger who has our old number will have complete access to entire chat backup, in spite of the fact that WhatsApp allows users to change phone numbers without uninstalling and reinstalling the app.
Fuller tweeted further, “And now I’m wondering how many other times it’s happened? Like does whoever has my old number now have MY WhatsApp history?”. She also mentioned that her smartphone, as well as the SIM card that she was using, was new. We should mention that recycling phone numbers is a common trend in the telecom industry and from what it looks like, Fuller’s ‘new’ phone number was actually a recycled one. However, if our guess is right, the previous user did not migrate his number on WhatsApp, and probably that’s why WhatsApp just restored his chats when Fuller installed WhatsApp in her new smartphone.
We don’t think that any of this would have happened had the previous user migrated their account to their new number first. However, this incident tells us how important it is to migrate our chats to a new number when we get a new SIM.