WhatsApp has no interest in taking photos of you; we simply wish to make it easier for you to have a rich, photographically enhanced conversation with those closest to you. Your privacy and security are important to us, and we want you to feel confident that you can use the application freely.
WhatsApp has enabled a photo button in the Android version of our app. This feature allows you to take a picture or video using your Android device camera directly.
When you download the Android version of the app equipped with this feature, WhatsApp is required to ask your permission to enable it. You will not need to approve this permission a second time. This is necessary to take any pictures or videos from your device using the new feature. Rest assured, WhatsApp will never take a photo or video without your confirmation.
This Google permission is "android.permission.CAMERA," and reads as such:
"Allows the app to take pictures and videos with the camera. This permission allows the app to use the camera at any time without your confirmation."
WhatsApp Support Team