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Apple turns off group FaceTime amid bug reports

Posted: 6:09 AM, Jan 29, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-29 07:09:09-05

Ever feel like your phone is listening to you?

A newly discovered bug in the iPhone’s FaceTime app lets people hear through someone else’s phone, and even see through their front-facing camera, without that person picking up the call.

The bug was found in the Group FaceTime feature that was launched last year.

It is activated when you call someone via FaceTime, swipe up to add another person to the call, and add your own phone number. The person who initiated the call is then able to hear the live audio on the other person’s phone, even though the recipient has not accepted the call.

Apple said in a statement Monday night that it has identified a fix for the problem and will release it in a software update later this week. Apple’s website states Group FaceTime is unavailable, and the company confirmed it has started disabling the Group FaceTime feature for all users.

To avoid falling victim to the bug, disable FaceTime on all your devices until Apple’s software updates have been released.

On an iPhone or iPad, go to Settings -> FaceTime, and toggle off the green button at the top of the screen. To turn it off on a Mac, open the FaceTime app and go to FaceTime on top of the screen, then select “Turn FaceTime Off.”