UPDATE: 8:35 a.m. ― Apple reportedly has disabled the Group FaceTime feature as a temporary fix until a software update is released later this week.
iPhone users have been urged to disable FaceTime after a bug was discovered that allows callers to listen in and see through front-facing cameras ― even if the person they’re trying to reach doesn’t pick up the call.
According to The Verge, the bug, which affects phones running 12.1.2, works like this: First, one party dials another on FaceTime using the Phone app, but before the recipient can pick up, the caller must swipe up and add their number, forming a group call. The phone, assuming a conference call has started, then allows the caller to listen in on the person being contacted, regardless of whether he or she has answered.
A demonstration of the flaw can be seen in this video:
The bug also occurs on Apple computers running macOS Mojave, CNN reported. Apple has announced plans to make a software update available this week to solve the issue.
News about the bug broke out just hours after Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted about the importance of data privacy:
To turn off the app on your iPhone, here’s what you need to do:
- Open Settings with the gear icon on the bottom of your screen.
- Scroll down to FaceTime.
- Click and toggle off the app.