A major bug on FaceTime has been reported by the iPhone user on Monday that lets people listen in on other users by way of the company’s FaceTime video chat service.
The bug allows a user to call someone on FaceTime and automatically begin hearing the other person before they pick up the call. The other person isn’t aware that the caller can hear them. The bug, confirmed by Bloomberg News, happens when a user creates a FaceTime conference call, puts in their phone number, and then adds the number of another person. The flaw was discussed on social media and picked up by website 9to5Mac.com.
For now, Apple has suspended Group FaceTime calling which is a probably a precautionary step before the issue is solved.
This is clearly a big privacy issue considering almost everyone with an iOS device tends to use FaceTime. While one can snoop-in on conversations, the FaceTime call does ring like it should, so it isn’t completely intrusive.
To test the issue, 9to5Mac made a FaceTime call using an iPhone X calling an iPhone XR and managed to produce the bug. They go on to say that the issue could affect any iOS device running iOS 12.1 or later and yes, one can “listen in to soundbites of any iPhone user’s ongoing conversation without them ever knowing that you could hear them.”
If you receive a FaceTime call, chances are that the person calling could be listening, even though you haven’t picked the call, which is scary and creepy at the same time. What’s worse, if a person who is receiving a FaceTime call presses the Power button from the lock screen (which should disconnect the call), their video is also sent to the caller.
As of now, there is no solution or a way to protect yourself from the issue, unless Apple shoots out a quick fix. What we can suggest is to make sure you are not having any confidential conversation when or if your FaceTime starts ringing. The other option is to disable FaceTime altogether.