Apple has disabled its group FaceTime function after a bug was reported that allows a caller to hear audio and, in some cases, see video of the person they are contacting before that person accepts or rejects the call.
News of the bug, first reported Tuesday by 9To5Mac, immediately went viral across social media. Apple then announced it would release software in the near future to address the problem.
In an interview with WPRI consumer reporter Susan Campbell, Nick Tella, director of information security at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, said the bug is a huge privacy issue.
“Software is never secure,” he said. “With more functionality with software, that means more lines of code. More lines of code means more bugs and security vulnerabilities.”
According to Tella, the bug doesn’t just impact personal iPhones or tablets.
“Prior to disabling this functionality, all Macs were also exposed,” he explained. “And Macs are utilized in offices, so essentially that Mac was an open mic. Someone could actually be listening to your private conversations.”
Tella suggests deactivating FaceTime on your devices manually if you have not done so yet, even though Apple already disabled it across their devices.
In order to disable FaceTime, go to Settings > FaceTime > toggle so the function is off.
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