No more spying if someone is online on WhatsApp: the app restricts who can see the data

no more spying if someone is online on whatsapp the.jpg
no more spying if someone is online on whatsapp the.jpg

WhatsApp allows you to configure who can see various data of your activity in the chat from their privacy options, such as the profile photo or the last connection time, but there is a piece of information that was always public: if you are online or not. WhatsApp has now tightened its privacy, limiting who can see this data.

We know of the change through WhatsApp technical support, which confirmed to a Twitter user that are making it harder for those you don’t know and They have not chatted with you before to know if you are online and your last connection time. In practice, this change breaks sites and applications to check if someone is online, one of the “easiest” ways to spy on someone on WhatsApp.

Better late than never

Until recently, there were two relatively “easy” ways to spy on someone’s WhatsApp. The first of them was, in an oversight of the victim, to open a WhatsApp Web session on another device, which was somewhat solved with the obligation to use the fingerprint to start a new session and the new multi-device mode. The second was with applications that check if someone is online on WhatsApp, keeping a record of it.

Unlike other data on your profile, such as profile photo, last connection time or info, availability (online or not) it was until now a public fact, which has caused a whole series of applications to proliferate in which you enter a phone number and they tell you if the person is online on WhatsApp or not. In some cases, the check is periodic, thus keeping a record of what time they were connected and what time they were not.

This has been the case since the beginning of time, but it seems that WhatsApp is finally doing something about it. WhatsApp has confirmed to a user that they are making it harder than the people you haven’t chatted with before they see your last connection time or availability.

To improve the privacy and security of our users, we are making it more difficult for people you do not know and have not chatted with to see your last connection time and online connection status on WhatsApp.

This will not change anything between you and your friends, family and businesses that you know and with whom you have exchanged messages before.

This includes applications and websites where you enter a phone number with WhatsApp and they tell you if it is online or not. We have been able to personally verify how pages like WaTools, WaCheck or ChatWatch all indicated that our phone was wrongly disconnected from WhatsApp Therefore, it seems that the protection is effective. It is foreseeable that the change will also apply to applications with the same function.


Pages like WaTools no longer seem to work

The change implies that in theory it is only possible to know if someone is online on WhatsApp if we have a previous chat with that person. As these services or apps do not have a previous chat, it is always indicated that you are offline.

This change comes quite late, although at least it does. It would have been better offer the option to users to choose who can see if you are connected or not, as with the last connection time, but for some reason the WhatsApp engineers have opted for this patch instead.