Apple has made the group functionality on its FaceTime application temporarily unavailable as it rushes to fix a glitch that allowed users to listen in on the people they were calling when they did not pick up the call. Under certain circumstances, the glitch also allowed callers to see video of the person they were calling before they picked up.Three days after Apple pulled its new Group FaceTime feature offline after users found they could eavesdrop on people before accepting a call, the company says it has fixed the bug on its end.
“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,” said Apple in a statement. “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.”The bug allowed anyone to swipe up and add themselves to a Group FaceTime call, a new group video feature that Apple introduced last year. TechCrunch verified the bug after it began making the rounds on social media.
To prevent misuse, Apple pulled the plug on Group FaceTime on its servers.Apple continued: “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.”
But the privacy issue came after reports that a 14-year-old from Arizona and his mother tried to report the bug to Apple days before to no avail, citing difficulties in contacting the company.
In Friday’s statement, Apple thanked the Thompson family for reporting the bug,“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,” the statement added.New York’s attorney general Letitia James and governor Andrew Cuomo said they would investigate the incident.