iPhone users have harped on about the device being much more secure than Android smartphones. The truth which we have warned everyone about is that iOS is just as easy to use to invade your privacy. Felix Krause is the founder of fastlane, an open source tool for iOS and Android developers focused on making building and releasing apps easier, and he has just demonstrated how easily your iPhone camera can be used to spy on you.
And this isn’t some difficult hack that requires the most complicated procedure. Any app that has access to your iPhone camera can take pictures and record videos of its environment without your knowledge using both front and rear cameras, and upload them immediately. Krause says it can even run real-time face recognition to detect your facial features or expressions.
You will get no warnings – no beeps, no blinking lights – while all of these go on. You wake up the next morning to find videos of you walking naked in your bedroom plastered all over social media.
How does this work? The first time you install or use an app that requires access to your iPhone camera, once the permission is given, the app can access the camera at any time without your knowledge. The loophole is nothing new or revolutionary. It is very basic and works.
Here is a video that Klause created to demonstrate this kind of secret recording:
What Can You Do To Secure Your iPhone Camera?
An easy first step is to tape off your camera lens like I have my laptop camera lens taped off. You can also buy a camera lens cover. Covering the camera lens is the most secure thing to do right now. Krause also says you can revoke camera access for all apps. But note that once you let an app use your camera, that access stays in place unless you revoke it again.
In the long run, developers of smartphone operating systems have to integrate better privacy in these platforms. At the least, the user should get a notification when certain activities are triggered on their devices. That is sort of like the app monitoring that BlackBerry has built into their Android smartphones.
You can read Felix Krause’s blog post on the subject HERE.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.