Apple FaceTime Bug: How to Protect Your Privacy

Posted January 30, 2019

The glitch in iPhone's FaceTime app allows an iPhone user to call another iPhone user and listen in on - and access live video feed of - that person's conversations through the device's microphone and camera.

The bug, confirmed by Bloomberg News, happens when a user creates a FaceTime conference call, puts in their phone number, and then adds the number of another person. This would trick the phone into starting a group FaceTime call and activate the other person's audio.

In addition to turning off the affected FaceTime feature, Apple (aapl) said this week that it's working on a software update that will fix the bug. If the recipient hit the power or volume button, the phone would broadcast video as well, the Vergereported. Based on this recent FaceTime incident, it seems the system isn't as secure as Apple would have us all believe.

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CNN senior editor Brian Ries successfully used it on friends, family members and a colleague, and in one instance was even able to see video of the people he was calling.

On Jan. 19, Michele Thompson's son started a group FaceTime call with his friends to talk while playing the online game. This will create a group FaceTime call and automatically answer the call for the first person. In the meantime, you may want to consider disabling FaceTime on your iOS device.

Following the publication of our original story, Apple has temporarily disabled Group FaceTime. Next, before they answer, swipe up and add yourself to the call.

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Apple has now promised to issue a fix for the bug, but it won't be available until later this week. It also applies to Macs running Mojave.

Apple told the tech news outlet that it is aware of the issue, and they're trying to fix it in a software update later this week. "The FaceTime bug is an egregious breach of privacy", Cuomo said in a statement, the New York Post reported.

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