You Can Now Download a Fix for That Scary Apple FaceTime Eavesdropping Bug

Photo: Getty

Apple just started rolling out an update to iOS 12 and MacOS 10.14 that fixes a very scary Group FaceTime bug. This widely reported bug enabled callers to hear and even see recipients without the person on the other end of the line actually picking up the call. This is something you don’t want on an iPhone or iPad, so please update your devices right now.

The first reports of this Group FaceTime bug popped up about a week ago, after a 14-year-old accidentally discovered it. Grant Thompson, the teen in question, was playing Fortnite, when he tried to FaceTime a friend. The friend didn’t pick up, so he swiped up, added another friend to the call, and realized he could hear his first friend with that person having answered the call. Thompson told his mom, and both of them say they tried to alert Apple to the glitch for ten days without ever getting a response. Apple finally addressed the bug when media outlets started reporting on it.

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Apple looks bad in this situation. For a company that’s been hammering home its commitment to privacy lately, such an invasive bug surely scares its users, and Apple’s handling of the situation after Thompson initially reported it probably doesn’t make them feel any better. It’s also worth remembering that Apple delayed the release of Group FaceTime for months, which was supposed to be included in the initial release of iOS 12. And soon after news of last week’s bug was made public, Apple disabled the Group FaceTime as it worked on a fix. That fix has finally arrived, just a couple of days after lawmakers started to question Apple about the bug.

So it’s update time. On your iPhone go to Settings > General > Software Update and then tap Download and Install. On your Mac, go to Apple > About This Mac > Software Update. This bug is a bad one, and you want to squash it immediately.

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Adam Clark Estes

Senior editor at Gizmodo.

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