News & Conflicts

Apple’s FaceTime has a serious eavesdropping bug

Apple’s FaceTime app currently has a bug allowing callers to listen through iPhone microphones before the call’s recipient even picks up. Further, if the recipient hits the power or volume button to reject the call, it will start transmitting video as well. Apple says the issue will be addressed in a software update “later this week”.

Here’s how to do the iPhone FaceTime bug:

  • Start a FaceTime Video call with an iPhone contact.
  • Whilst the call is dialing, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and tap Add Person.
  • Add your own phone number in the Add Person screen.
  • You will then start a group FaceTime call including yourself and the audio of the person you originally called, even if they haven’t accepted the call yet.

It will look like in the UI like the other person has joined the group chat, but on their actual device, it will still be ringing on the Lock screen.

The bug was first reported by tech blog 9to5Mac.

This is really bad for Apple at a time there’s a general paranoia around surveillance, it’s a terrible bug for a company that boasts as about how secure their users’ data are.

Until Apple rolls out a fix later this week, here’s how to disable FaceTime on your Apple device:

1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad

2. Scroll down and select FaceTime

3. Toggle off the green button at the top of the screen.

To turn it off on a Mac, follow these steps:

1. Open the FaceTime app

2. Go to FaceTime on top of the screen

3. Select “Turn FaceTime Off.”

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