Apple apologises for FaceTime 'eavesdropping' bug

Donna Miller
February 3, 2019

Apple has issued an apology for the Facetime app glitch which allowed users to eavesdrop on other people without their knowledge.

Apple Inc. apologized for a bug that let users of its FaceTime video-chat service listen in on people they contacted even before the person accepted or rejected the call. The spokesperson, however, said that the engineering team has been working on a fix since they were notified of the issue.

Apple has officially apologised to all iPad and iPhone users over the massive security flaw that affected the Group FaceTime calls. An hour or two after this post went live, Apple disabled Group FaceTime to mitigate the bug.

Apple finally reached out to the Thompsons after nine days of silence and a public statement saying they were aware of the issue.

More than a week later, the tech giant made sure to publicly acknowledge them in its statement, writing, "We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug".

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This the first time Apple has acknowledged the 14-year-old Arizona student, Grant Thompson, who said he first discovered the bug a week before Apple took the feature offline. We appreciate everyone's patience as we complete this process. Now the company has officially apologized for the FaceTime flaw and promised a fix which will be released by next week.

Grant Thompson and his mother, Michele, look at an iPhone in the family's kitchen in Tucson, Ariz., on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Apple executives like CEO Tim Cook have spoken about the importance of privacy frequently over the past several months to contrast Apple with rivals like Google, and privacy has played a key role in the messaging around recent product and software unveilings.

The youngster had discovered a bug that allowed him to force other iPhones to answer a FaceTime call, even if the other person doesn't take any action.

Apple has already put a stop to the FaceTime bug by disabling Group FaceTime server side, leaving the feature unavailable, but questions remain about how long the bug was accessible and how long Apple knew about it before attempting a fix.

Thompson insisted she tried to report the problem to the Cupertino-based company but did not receive a response.

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