Both Meta and WhatsApp have been criticized on multiple occasions due to the privacy of our data. The messaging app owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s company has been quick to combat this, and has been introducing more and more security and encryption measures to ensure our conversations are secure. However, and “thanks” to the States of the app it might be possible to find out where we live.
Sharing our location has been part of WhatsApp’s functions for a long time, and can even do it with our location in real time. This information is obviously very sensitive, since with it it would not only be possible to find out where we are at a certain moment, but also where our home or work is. We are all aware of this and that is why we do not do it “lightly”, but this information could also be found through the States of the application.
WhatsApp states: be careful where you press
As you probably already know, WhatsApp Statuses allow us to post photos, GIFs and videos that are automatically deleted every 24 hours. This function is, in itself, very secure, since it is end-to-end encrypted, and to be able to see our States it is necessary that the other people and we have each other saved in our agendas. In this sense, we should not fear at all to use this function of the app, but we do have to be careful about one thing: the URLs.
As in Instagram, WhatsApp States allow us to write URLs in them, which when pressed will redirect us to a web page. This is widely used by people, since it allows you to easily broadcast content such as the start of a stream on Twitch, for example. However, there is a very big difference between Instagram and WhatsApp in this regard, and that is that the messaging app registers in a detailed log of connection times and accounts that access the content.
It is true that this information cannot contain any type of information about our location by itself, but combined with a simple web page created for the occasion, yes, it is possible to know the geolocation of the contacts who access the story and click on the URL.
So they could find out our geolocation
As Chema Alonso explains on his website, the only thing necessary to discover the location of one of our contacts would be to create a very simple website capable of collect the IP of the users who access it, as well as a printout of the time they do so. This by itself would be a jumble of data where it would be impossible to know who each IP belongs to and its geolocation, but “the magic” happens the moment we put this data together with the log of the WhatsApp States themselves.
Crossing these two data, we would know very easily which IP belongs to which contact in our agenda, thus revealing data that we should not know such as your city or your service provider. That the application prohibits or prevents this is something quite complicated, although it would be enough to show a message to the user so that he is careful and responsible when accessing a URL through a State.
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So they can know where you live because of WhatsApp