Apps

Apple under-fire from politicians following FaceTime glitch

US technology behemoth Apple is under-fire following the stunning revelation that its FaceTime app was allowing users to listen to audio from the phone of the person they’re calling even if the recipient hadn’t picked it up.

The news first started to circulate about the glitch on the iPhone app on social media, and it was then replicated by 9to5Mac with an iPhone X calling an iPhone XR, although the publication said the issue can affect any two devices running iOS 12.1 or later.

However, it emerged that in some cases the when 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.

Apple was subjected to severe criticism from consumers online that expressed how appalled they were following the breach of its privacy rights and has called for them company to eradicate the issue immediately.

A spokesman for Apple said, “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.

In addition to this, callers are also 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 have recommended iPhone users disable FaceTime until Apple releases its update. This includes high-profile Democratic New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo who has 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.”