Anyone can know when you do you use WhatsApp, when do you sleep, your online activity and much more. But don’t worry your chat is safe, as WhatsApp uses end-to-end encryption.
Even by using Social Engineering one can derive how late you are awake normally, your office hours and even the marketing companies can see what are most frequent online status when you are mostly online to target with ads and stuff.
Before there was a way to monitor user’s activity using “Last seen” status. But, what if the user has hide their “Last seen” status or what if we have hide our “Last seen” status, then no one can see Last seen. In that case, your Last seen is hidden, but there is no way to hide “online” status feature.
How does it work?
If you have someone’s mobile number in your contacts and that number is connected to WhatsApp, then you can see their online activity. User whom you want to monitor doesn’t need to save your contact number.
Surveillance on someone
Rob Heaton, a software engineer, has demonstrated this strange thing by creating a Google Chrome extension which logs the online activity of his contacts through the WhatsApp web app.
Taking the so-called surveillance to the next level, the data belonging to a person can be cross-referenced to that of another person. And it can be known if they two are talking to each other.
Let’s say, a person comes online to send a message, and another person shows up at the same moment. If this continues for a while, it can be inferred the two are in a conversation.
If the data monitoring is done at a larger scale, the consequences might give you chills down your spine. It can be used to satisfy the hunger of advertising agencies who drool over your information even while they’re asleep. In a hypothetical scenario, you can even create a company that runs a service to return people’s WhatsApp information against their phone number, Heaton says.
Unfortunately, there is no way you can prevent others to spy on you. This isn’t the first time an exploit of this nature has been discovered for a social platform. Earlier, a similar hack was created for Facebook Messenger and Tinder
Though WhatsApp has still not commented on this post or issued a statement regarding this. Online status feature has been a part since WhatsApp started, maybe they will not fix this. Similar to WhatsApp feature to choose which users can see their “last seen” status. There are chances of new Whatsapp feature to allow users choose who can see their “online” status.