A major FaceTime bug has come to light that is making it possible for the caller to listen to the person on the other side even if the recipient hasn’t accepted the call. In other words, the recipient’s iPhone device is found to act as a hot mic thereby making it a huge privacy scare for iPhone owners around the globe.
Even if this isn’t enough, what is all the more embarrassing for the Cupertino giant is that the FaceTime bug has been found to be applicable to the Mac as well, with calls made to the Mac equally being susceptible to be eavesdropped even if the recipient hasn’t taken the call.
Apple too has been quick to acknowledge the issue and has assured a fix is already in the works, and that the same would be made available by the end of the week itself. Cupertino giant has disabled the group calling feature, as it furiously working to remove the bug that allowed eavesdropping. The urgency is understandable considering the security and privacy risk that the bug poses, and how degrading it can be for a company that has been a shining beacon in the tech industry for others to follow.
To replicate the bug, a user will have to initiate a FaceTime call. After that, the user will need to swipe up from the bottom to add a second user followed by adding the user’s own phone number. While the user’s phone is still ringing, the caller is getting to hear all that is happening in the vicinity of the recipient’s iPhone.
Technically, the above is the result of the mic getting initiated earlier than intended while the audio input is also getting relayed to the caller’s end. What’s more, some also reported video from the recipient is also getting relayed to the caller if the person at the other end is rejecting the call by pressing the power button.
Fortunately, it’s a second or two of video footage that is getting leaked and nothing more even though all of it is still a lot demeaning for Apple, more so after all the noise, it makes about how concerned it is about user’s privacy.
The same issue is getting replicated on a Mac as well, which means Apple has some work to do plugging all the loopholes on both the iOS and macOS codes. Interestingly, there has been no reports of something similar from any iPad users so far though the tablet too should be equally vulnerable. And till the time the issue has been adequately addressed, iPhone, iPad or Mac users would do well to have FaceTime disabled on their devices.