Apple’s iPhone FaceTime privacy bug lets you hear others before they pick up call
The bug allows an iPhone user placing a call using Apple’s FaceTime video-calling feature to hear audio from the recipient’s phone even if the recipient has not yet picked up the call.Updated: Jan 29, 2019 12:11 IST
Apple on Monday said it will soon roll out a software update to fix a bug that allowed iPhone users to eavesdrop while making a video call via FaceTime.
The bug essentially allows a caller to listen to audio from the recipient’s phone even if the latter hasn’t received the call. In some cases, the bug also broadcast both video and audio from the recipient’s phone. The bug has affected mostly group FaceTime (group video calling) feature.
9to5, which was able to replicate the bug, pointed out that the UI makes it look like other person has joined a group call but it’s actually just ringing on their phone. The website added that if a third person taps on the Power button from their lock screen, recipients can still see their video.
Acknowledging the problem, an Apple spokesperson said, “We’re aware of this issue and have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”
Apple has disabled the group FaceTime feature for now. You can also disable the FaceTime feature altogether.
Here’s how you can do so.
Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
Scroll down and tap on the FaceTime icon.
Tap on the toggle to gray. This will disable FaceTime from your iPhone.
Users took to Twitter to tweet jokes and comments about the bug affecting Apple’s group FaceTime service.
I just replicated the issue - on top of that, if you "join" the call using your invitation on another device (in this case another iPhone) you also get video!! Even though the call is still ringing / not answered on the destination device.— Jessassin (@Jessassin) January 29, 2019
We must keep fighting for the kind of world we want to live in. On this #DataPrivacyDay let us all insist on action and reform for vital privacy protections. The dangers are real and the consequences are too important.— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) January 28, 2019
“Disable FaceTime for now until Apple fixes,” Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted.
Apple announced the feature last summer, but then removed it from early test versions of its iOS 12 operating system. The company launched the feature in October.
(with inputs from Reuters)
First Published: Jan 29, 2019 10:41 IST