Apple announced it will release an update to remedy a glitch in its FaceTime app which allowed users listen to the audio from the phone of the person they are calling even if the recipient hasn’t picked up.
The news first came to light on social media and the glitch was then replicated by 9to5Mac, with an iPhone X calling an iPhone XR, though the publication said the issue can affect any two devices running iOS 12.1 or later.
In some cases when the the recipient pressed the power or volume buttons on their phones to dismiss a FaceTime call, both their video and audio was broadcast to the caller.
An Apple representative was quoted in reports as stating: “We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”
The bug was also discovered when an iPhone is used to call a Mac.
Callers are able to listen in to audio if they attempt to start a group call with the recipient and then add themselves as the third member of the group. For this reason Apple has temporarily disabled group calls on FaceTime, a feature it launched in October 2018.
Observers recommended iPhone users disable FaceTime until Apple releases its update. This includes New York State governor Andrew Cuomo who said the issue “is an egregious breach of privacy”.
“I am deeply concerned by this irresponsible bug that can be exploited for unscrupulous purposes. In light of this bug, I advise New Yorkers to disable their FaceTime app until a fix is made available, and I urge Apple to release the fix without delay.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter