Apple FaceTime Bug Lets Callers Eavesdrop On You

Another piece of evidence to add to the ever-increasing Black Mirror IRL pile - a recently discovered glitch in Apple's FaceTime software reportedly allows iPhone users to listen in on the people they are calling, even if that person doesn't answer the call.

According to the Guardian, Apple has now temporarily shut down the group functionality on its FaceTime application while it tries to fix the bug, which in some cases even allowed callers to see through the person's front-facing camera before they'd picked up.

The glitch was initially flagged by Twitter by user Benji Mobb and reported by 9to5Mac, before being tested out by CNBC reporter Todd Haselton, who used his iPhone to call his editor using Apple's FaceTime app.

Per the instructions set out by 9to5Mac, Todd used the menu option to add himself to the call and sure enough, he was able to hear his editor despite the fact that he hadn't answered the call.

As was the case for those who have experienced the glitch, the editor was given an option to answer the call but was not informed that the caller was able to hear him.

But it doesn't end there - it was further discovered that if the person who's being contacted presses the power button (i.e. they try and end the call), it automatically turns the camera function on. Freaky, right?

As said, Apple's system status webpage shows the company has made the FaceTime feature temporarily unavailable in order to prevent anyone else testing (or taking advantage of) the bug.

Meanwhile, in a statement to CNBC, an Apple spokesperson said: "We're aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week."

While the tech giant is currently working hard to sort out the problem, the discovery has certainly raised a number of questions regarding privacy issues - particularly since it was brought up on Data Privacy Day, a global event to raise awareness and promote best practices for privacy and data protection. Whoops!

If you're still not feeling totally secure about this whole thing and want to ensure the same won't happen to you, perhaps it might be wise to disable FaceTime entirely in your iPhone settings for the time being - just to stay on the safe side until Apple comes back with a solution.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Daisy Phillipson

Daisy is a UK-based freelance journalist with too many opinions. She loves everything film and music-related and has a track record writing for Little White Lies, BWRC, and Film Daily. Contact her at [email protected]

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013