Apple Scrambles to Fix FaceTime Privacy Bug, Disables Group FaceTime

Posted on January 29, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Apple, iOS with 5 Comments

Late last night, reports of a major FaceTime bug started spreading online. Due to a bug in FaceTime’s group calling functionality, users were able to listen to someone they are calling before they even picked up the call without any fail. The bug has now left Apple scrambling to fix the issue on its products, which is apparently affecting both iOS devices and Mac devices with FaceTime.

Although the company is yet to fix the actual issue, it has disabled FaceTime group FaceTime on the server-side. On its status page, the company states that Group FaceTime is currently unavailable, likely to prevent users from exploiting the bug any further.

Cupertino has promised an actual fix later this week with a future software update, stating  “We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week”.

Group FaceTime has caused a quite a lot of trouble for Apple. The feature’s release was originally delayed on iOS, and there were other minor bugs when it launched. This latest bug is much bigger than any of those, and it looks like Apple might get into a lot of controversies about this. After all, the company had a huge ad at CES about privacy:

Too soon.

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Comments (5)

5 responses to “Apple Scrambles to Fix FaceTime Privacy Bug, Disables Group FaceTime”

  1. F4IL

    Yeah, apple are (too) quick to advertise their (premium) products by exploiting concerns about people's privacy. Taking advantage of a fundamental human right to sell gadgets is ruthless.

  2. markbyrn

    Outrageous. Cook grandstands as a social activist and prattles on about privacy while his bungling engineers have turned the iPhone into a remotely controlled eavesdropping device. 

  3. lvthunder

    It's a bug people. Apple engineers aren't gods. They are regular people just like the rest of us. Mistakes will happen. Nobody is perfect. It's how you deal with those mistakes that is telling. I'm glad to see Apple disabled the feature until they can fix the bug.

  4. bill_russell

    So what that means if you want to be the most sure that law enforcement can't get into your phone that always has its radios completely disabled, and to get at some little diary you've been keeping in Notes, then use an iphone. This sounds like a niche concern.


    Other than that, a phone is probably 99% about external communications so I don't see how it can be remotely claimed that everything stays on your phone.

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