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Apple’s FaceTime glitch raises concerns

By Elise Glenn I Staff Reporter
On February 8, 2019

New FaceTime bug allows users to eavesdrop on others. 
Photo courtesy of 9to5mac.com

iPhone users across the country are still having concerns regarding the FaceTime bug that emerged last week.

The bug was activated when users call someone via FaceTime, swipe up to add another person to the call and they can enter their own number.

The person who initiated the call was able to hear live audio on the other person’s phone even though the recipient had not accepted the call. In some cases, the bug showed video of the other person if they press the volume button to dismiss the call.

Amanee Smith, a senior elementary education major at FAMU, shared her thoughts on the bug.

“I feel that the new FaceTime feature is an invasion of privacy and does not serve a real purpose. When you are the person being called it slows your phone down and makes the camera lag. I personally do not care for it because I think it’s useless and problem-prone,” she said. “It needs to be discontinued and never reopened again.”

Although the issue gained widespread of attention across social platforms last week, there is evidence that Apple was warned about this bug as early as Jan. 20 and did not alert iPhone users.

On Jan. 20, a spam Twitter account tagged the verified Apple support account warning it about the bug. The following day, the same account made a tweet tagging Apple CEO Tim Cook, telling him the issue needed to be addressed.

Apple issued a statement on Feb. 1 stating it had fixed the FaceTime glitches and released a new software update.

The matter was pretty embarrassing for a company that considers itself ad advocate for user privacy. After the incident went public, researchers, politicians and Apple users grew concerned over the security of all Apple products.

Kahlia Martin, a senior biology and pre-med major, said the bug had the potential to do serious harm.

“This is a serious invasion of privacy on both Apple’s side and the counterpart of who’s FaceTiming you. A multi-billion-dollar corporation and a hack this serious was able to be found out before Apple even discovered that it was possible. It makes me wonder what other information is compromised with these new updates,” Martin said.

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