Did you notice that the group functionality on the FaceTime application has been made unavailable temporarily by Apple? This has been done so that the tech giant is able to fix the glitch that has been enabling the users to listen in on the person they called, but the person didn’t answer. The FaceTime glitch also enabled the callers to get video from the person they called even before the person had answered the call.
The existence of the bug was confirmed by The Guardian, and the bug was first reported by 9to5Mac. The FaceTime glitch would cause the phone of the recipient of FaceTime call to turn into a microphone while the call was still ringing. If the recipient of the call pressed the power button for silencing or ignoring the incoming call; the phone would begin broadcasting the video to the caller.
The company told Reuters that it was fully aware of the problem and was working on a software update that would fix the FaceTime glitch sometime later this week. In the meantime, the Group FaceTime feature was made unavailable. By disabling the feature at its source, the company has prevented any further exploitation of the FaceTime glitch.
This particular FaceTime glitch was exposed on Data Privacy Day. Data Privacy Day is a global event that was started by the Council of Europe back in 2007. It is aimed at raising awareness among consumers and businesses about the importance of protecting privacy.
You can be sure of your protection by disabling FaceTime completely by going to your device’s settings. The Apple’s next software update, iOS 12.2, is expected to be released later this week and will be providing a permanent fix for the FaceTime glitch as per Apple. As to the users who will not be updating their devices to the latest operating system; we don’t know how Apple intends to impart protection to them.
Ashkan Soltani, the former chief technology officer of the US Federal Trade Commission, said that it is ‘quite possibly one of the most significant privacy/security bugs the company has had to deal with in recent years (if not ever?),’ and also praised at how quickly Apple has responded to the FaceTime glitch.