Hush. A nasty iPhone FaceTime bug leaves you open to eavesdropping from your caller.
This is a big privacy issue that has been discovered in FaceTime. How the bug works is that it lets anyone calling you immediately hear you even before you accept to reject the call.
FaceTime is a video and audio calling service that works only between Apple devices – iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch and Macs.
If you are the caller, the iPhone FaceTime bug lets you hear the audio from your recipient immediately it starts ringing at their end too.
Imagine how much information can be leaked with such a privacy issue as this present.
Social media platforms have been awash with reports by iPhone users who have experienced the bug. From the reports, the issue seems to have to do with the Group FaceTime function.
Here is a video of the iPhone FaceTime Bug in action between two phones.
A video of the FaceTime bug in action… pic.twitter.com/5vruGL6tMT
— UberFacts (@UberFacts) January 29, 2019
You can follow the whole Twitter thread here.
The bug works too when receiving a FaceTime call on a Mac. So it isn’t limited strictly to just iPhones.
The Wall Street Journal reports that a 14-year old and his mom tried to warn Apple of the bug before the news blew up big on social media. The mom, Michele Thompson, reportedly said it was a frustrating attempt.
Here is an excerpt from her correspondence to Apple:
“My fear is that this flaw could be used for nefarious purposes. At this point, I will not release this information to anyone until I hear back from you.”
Here is a video detailing some of her communications to Apple:
VIDEO: Here is a video, recorded & sent to Apple by a 14 yr old & his mom, on JAN 23rd, alerting them to the dangerous #FaceTime bug, that has threatened the privacy of millions. I've removed sensitive / private info on behalf of the mother (an attorney), whom I just spoke to. pic.twitter.com/YIBKXEP3mI
— John H. Meyer (@BEASTMODE) January 29, 2019
Michele says they emailed, called and faxed Apple, and after several attempts, were told that they needed a developer account to report the iPhone FaceTime bug.
Getting technical support from the world’s biggest tech companies had increasingly become a nightmare in recent years. The support processes have been largely automated, and users often keep going round and round in circles when they need human intervention to solve a problem.
Mister Mo finally deleted Skype after such an episode of being unable to resolve a login issue with Microsoft.
Eventually, other users began to experience the FaceTime glitch and began to speak out. It was not long before widespread reports of the iPhone FaceTime bug went viral on social media.
Many FaceTime users had been bitten by the nasty bug and were up in arms.
It is important to note that Michelle Johnson’s report to Apple was done a week ago. If the tech giant had been more responsive to feedback, this huge problem could have been nipped in the bud much faster.
In the meantime, perhaps this bug was meant to be a moment of truth for some people. It has been a revealing time for quite a number of FaceTime users. One user tweeted that thanks to the glitch, he found out his “friends” really do not like him. Oh, bummer.
Apple has responded to say that they will plug the iPhone FaceTime bug in a software update later this week.
The company has also disabled the Group FaceTime function in the meantime till the big is fixed.
What You Can Do About The iPhone FaceTime Bug Right Now
If you are concerned about this privacy issue, you can disable FaceTime in iOS Settings till the software update that fixes it arrives .
Or you can just be more self aware when initiating or receiving a FaceTime call. Hush whenever your line rings till you have actually answered or rejected the call.
Nah. Just turn FaceTime off and spare yourself unnecessary trouble if it really bothers you.