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It has now been revealed that Apple and FaceTime’s video and voice chat software contain a security flaw that could have far-reaching consequences for owners. The bug makes it possible to eavesdrop on these people without them even being aware of it.
Apple has since confirmed the flaw that enables FaceTime users to listen to a specific iPhone’s microphone merely by calling that phone. However, the really scary part is that the phone’s owner does not even have to pick up the call.
Video evidence proving the existence of the bug first started appearing on Twitter yesterday. Various outlets such as BuzzFeed and The Verge have since been able to replicate the problem.
That isn’t all though – there is an even worse scenario: the caller will be given access to an iPhone’s front-facing camera if the receiver of the call accidentally presses the device’s power button.
Apple immediately responded with a media statement in which it acknowledged the existence of the bug. The company said that it was preparing to address the issue with a software update before the end of the week.
iPad and iPhone users who quite rightfully have serious privacy concerns at this stage might want to completely disable FaceTime until an official fix has been released by the Cupertino-based firm.
News of the bug quite ironically broke on Data Privacy Day – a day celebrated by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook with a call for stronger privacy protections. In a Tweet posted before the FaceTime issue became public knowledge, he wrote: “We must keep fighting for the kind of world we want to live in. On this #DataPrivacyDay let us all insist on action and reform for vital privacy protections. The dangers are real and the consequences are too important.”