Published: Wed, January 30, 2019
IT | By Jonathon Greene

Serious Apple glitch lets users snoop on people they call on FaceTime

Serious Apple glitch lets users snoop on people they call on FaceTime

A bug in Apple's FaceTime App has just been discovered, and it's a huge privacy concern. While this call is ongoing, you can add yourself to the call - using your own number - to begin a group call.

The bug in the FaceTime software will allow a caller to listen in on the audio from the recipient's end even if the call hasn't been received.

Although Apple has officially changed the status of FaceTime to "issue" on its System Status page, likely disabling the feature server side, some users are reporting that it's still possible to take advantage of the bug.

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast team was able to replicate the issue by using Group FaceTime, which was introduced with iOS 12.1 in October.

Apple users were vulnerable to a major bug that allowed people to listen in on FaceTime calls before the recipient answered the call. It has also appeared that if the target tries to turn off the device or reject the call, their video would also be sent to the caller, without their knowledge. Apple is now fixing the issue with the glitch. The way you produced the bug is by starting a FaceTime video call with an iPhone contact, and then swiping up from the bottom of the screen and tapping "Add Person" while the call is still dialing.

Apple does seem to have temporarily disabled FaceTime due to the serious privacy risk it poses, though that should not stop you from turning off the service on your device as well.

The company is aware of the issue and will fix it with a software update later this week, the Verge reported, citing an unidentified Apple spokesperson.

What this means, is if someone is calling you on FaceTime, they could be listening and seeing what you are doing without you even knowing.

To disable FaceTime on a Mac, open the FaceTime app and select FaceTime Turn FaceTime Off.

My family and I are running Apple iOS 12.1.3 on our iPhone XS and iPhone 7 devices.

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