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Apple disables group FaceTime calling for everyone after major bug found

Apple disables group FaceTime calling for everyone after major bug found
[Photo: McKinsey/rawpixel]

Late last night a major group FaceTime bug was found that allowed callers to eavesdrop on the person they were calling. Effectively, a FaceTime caller could follow a series of steps that would allow them to turn on the microphone of the iPhone they were calling and listen in without that person even knowing.

The bug is a major embarrassment for Apple, which prides itself on privacy. It also happened to go public on Data Privacy Day. Ouch. After word of the bug spread, Apple acknowledged the problem and said it would release a fix later this week. But as a precaution, Apple has now also disabled group FaceTime calling for everyone in the world, according to the company’s system status page.

This means that it is now impossible for anyone to eavesdrop on your iPhone by taking advantage of the bug. In other words, even if you did not disable FaceTime on your iOS devices you can rest assured you can’t be eavesdropped on. And nope, Apple didn’t flip a switch on everyone’s iPhone without their permission to disable group FaceTime calling; the company simply shut down its server group FaceTime calls are processed through.

Regular, non-group, FaceTime calls continue to work and can be used safely.

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