In a world where we’re surrounded by AI assistants like Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Bixby and who knows what else, you may feel like Big Brother really is watching you. Ever have a conversation about a seemingly random product and seen an ad about that exact thing pop up the next day?
If you’re slowly becoming a technophobe and think people are listening in on your conversations, a recent iPhone glitch is about to crank your paranoia up to 11.
It was reported in 9to5Mac that a strange bug has affected FaceTime which lets users listen to the audio through the recipient’s phone mic, even when they don’t answer.
But how does the bug work? New York Times writer Brian X. Chen managed to replicate it, and it sounds scarily easy to do.
“I began by placing a FaceTime call to the other iPhone, and while the call was ringing, I swiped up on the screen, hit add person and added myself to the conversation,” Chen says. “From there, I was able to listen in on the recipient’s microphone, even if the person did not pick up.”
And if you think video calls are safe, you thought wrong.
“If the recipient hit the volume-down or volume-up buttons during this process, the caller could also see a live video feed of the recipient’s front-facing iPhone camera,” adds Chen.
Twitter user Jessassin also revealed another way that the bug affects video calls as well.
I just replicated the issue – on top of that, if you “join” the call using your invitation on another device (in this case another iPhone) you also get video!! Even though the call is still ringing / not answered on the destination device.
— Jessassin (@Jessassin) January 29, 2019
“We’re aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week,” Apple said in a statement.
Until then, it’s probably a good idea to avoid using FaceTime altogether.
By Gilbert Wong, Men’s Health Content Producer