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- Apple has apologized for the Group FaceTime bug which was publicized earlier this week.
- It was called a major privacy flaw and allowed anyone with FaceTime to potentially listen into your iPhone’s microphone.
- Apple said in a statement that the bug has been fixed on its servers and that a software update is coming next week to re-enable any features that have been turned off.
Apple has apologized for the Group FaceTime bug that allowed people to eavesdrop on other people’s iPhones without consent.
When the bug was publicized earlier this week, it was called a major privacy flaw, and has even drawn calls for investigations from officials like New York Attorney General Letitia James.
In a statement issued by Apple on Friday, Apple apologized for its error.
"We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process," according to Apple’s statement.
Apple said that it had fixed the bug on its servers, but to turn the feature back on will require an iPhone software update, which is coming next week, according to Apple. Apple had previously said that the software update would be released this week.
It also thanked the Thompson family, which several media reports said had reported the bug to Apple earlier in January before the bug became widely known.
The bug allowed anyone to listen into an iPhone’s microphone by starting a FaceTime videoconferencing call and adding their own number as a third party on the call. That was enabled by Group FaceTime, a new feature introduced in 2018.
The bug was particularly embarrassing given Apple’s recent campaign touting its privacy bona fides compared with those of rivals like Google.
Here’s Apple’s full statement:
"We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.
We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us."
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Source: Business Insider