Apple today released a fix for a serious bug in its group FaceTime video messaging app.
A teen in Arizona discovered that a FaceTime user 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. It was a serious privacy gaffe for a company that’s spent a lot of time crowing about its own privacy protection policies and criticizing others for their lack of them.
The Arizona 14-year-old, Grant Thompson, originally happened upon the bug on January 20. Grant’s mom, Michele Thompson, an attorney, said she emailed, called, and sent letters on legal letterhead trying to bring Apple’s attention to the matter. Finally, Apple acknowledged the problem on January 29, and shut down group chat on FaceTime.
Here’s how to update your phone to restore a repaired version of the FaceTime app that includes group calling:
- On your iPhone or iPad, tap the Settings icon
- Tap General
- Look for the software update
- Download and Install