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Apple FaceTime bug: Disable FaceTime before others snoop on you without consent

BusinessToday.In     January 29, 2019

A new bug has been discovered in the Apple's FaceTime application that lets users listen in on the people they are calling. The moment you call anyone with FaceTime, the bug immediately lets you hear the audio coming from their phone, even before the person on the other side accepts or rejects your call! Apple has released a statement and said that it will release a software update to patch the issue by next week but failed to address specifics. Apple's iPhones and iPads running iOS 12.1, and Apple PCs running macOS Mojave, which have the recently added Group FaceTime feature, are affected by the FaceTime bug. For now, Group FaceTime has been taken completely offline by Apple.

How does the bug affect you?

When you start a FaceTime video call with someone in your contacts, just swipe up from the bottom and select "Add Person". Then, add your own phone number, to start a Group FaceTime with a person you originally called, even if they didn't accept the call. Thus, you can hear the audio of the person you called without them knowing that you can hear them. The strange part is that they don't even have to accept your FaceTime call!

The issue blew up Twitter, with technology writer Andy Baio tweeting to warn iPhone users of the issue.

Meanwhile, Apple updated its System Status with a 'yellow' colour mark over FaceTime, indicating that there is an issue with the application. However, despite this change, the FaceTime calling bug is apparently still live for some users. The threat to privacy is real. The bug makes it possible for you to hear conversation of any iPhone users without them ever knowing that you could hear them.

What should you do?

Until Apple comes out with a fix, the best thing to do to protect yourself is to disable FaceTime completely.

To disable FaceTime on iPhone or iPad -- Go to Settings and then tap on FaceTime. Here, you can toggle off the green button at the top of the screen. To switch it off on a Mac, open the FaceTime app and go to FaceTime on top of the screen, then select "Turn FaceTime Off."

(Edited By: Udit Verma)

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