A disturbing privacy issue has been discovered concerning Facebook‘s iOS app. According to Mashable, iPhone users are reporting a significant bug that turns the camera on without their permission.
The bug was first discovered earlier this month by Twitter user and software tester Neo QA, who tweeted video evidence of the issue. Since then more users have taken to social media to report the same thing.
The footage shows the app activating the camera once a Facebook user taps into a photo or video in fullscreen mode. And when user try to close the photo or video, the camera remains open, hiding behind the Facebook feed.
Today, while watching a video on @facebook, I rotated to landscape and could see the Facebook/Instagram Story UI for a split second. When rotating back to portrait, the Story camera/UI opened entirely. A little worrying… pic.twitter.com/7lVHHGedGf
— Neo QA (@neo_qa) November 2, 2019
Another Twitter user, Joshua Maddux shared evidence of the same bug and later confirmed the issue was present on multiple iPhones he tested.
Update, I have been able to confirm this across 5 different iPhones all running 13.2.2. I will note that iPhones running iOS 12 don't show the camera (not to say that it's not being used).
— Joshua Maddux (@JoshuaMaddux) November 11, 2019
Yesterday, Facebook’s VP of Integrity Guy Rosen has addressed the issue, tweeting that the team is now working on fixing it, promising an update to the App Store coming soon.
We’re submitting a fix for this to the App Store today.
— Guy Rosen (@guyro) November 12, 2019
Facebook also submitted an official quote to Mashable, reiterating the fact that this was an inadvertent mistake which the company plans on fixing immediately.