Apple FaceTime bug

Users await a bug fix to assure they aren't subject to eavesdropping

Jibril Mukarram, Photographer, writer

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Calling all Apple users– A new reported FaceTime glitch apparently lets callers listen in on peoples conversions via unanswered phones. The glitch allows another iPhone user to listen in on that person’s conversations through the device’s microphone, even if the recipient does not answer the call. The glitch was first discovered by Grant Thompson, a 14-year-old in Arizona, while attempting to FaceTime his friends before a Fortnite gaming session, according to The Wall Street Journal. As he added members to the group chat, Thompson realized he could hear the audio from his friends’ devices, even though they hadn’t agreed to join the FaceTime session. The multi-billion dollar company issued this apology statement out to the public on Friday.

“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.”

After asking a couple of students if they were affected by the glitch, most responded with, “What glitch?” Not many people at school seemed to know what I was talking about. And while many seemed to not even care much about it at all– several students reported having turned off FaceTime until further assurances from Apple.

Apple reportedly told everyone to disable their FaceTime apps until they were able to figure out how to fix it, but that hasn’t seemed to deter anyone from using the popular application.

“It’s not much of a big deal to me honestly. Why would it matter if the person I plan on FaceTiming hears what I’m saying before he or she answers my call,” said Jaxon Turner, 9.

“It hasn’t affected me one bit from using FaceTime. I use it everyday to talk to my friends and family overseas,” said Anthony Hellen, 11.

While many people were unbothered by the bug, but it calls into question the company’s commitment to security, even though it regularly advertises its bug reward program and boasts about the safety of its products. Thanks to Thompson and his mother, Apple will be issuing a new software update for the app soon.