Bug in Apple FaceTime app lets users listen in on conversations

Apple says 'group FaceTime is temporarily unavailable' as the company works on solving the issue.

    The bug was reportedly discovered by a 14-year-old [Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters]
    The bug was reportedly discovered by a 14-year-old [Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters]

    US tech company Apple has said it would fix a bug in its FaceTime video calling app that let iPhone users hear audio from users who were yet to accept a video call.

    The bug only appeared in the app's group video-calling feature.

    On its official status page, Apple said that "Group FaceTime is temporarily unavailable" as the company worked on solving the issue.

    "We’re aware of this issue and have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week," Apple said in response to the bug.

    One-on-one FaceTime chats are not affected by the bug unless the conversation is turned into a group chat.

    The bug was reportedly discovered by a 14-year-old boy while calling friends to play the video game Fortnite.

    Matt Blaze, a security expert, said on Twitter he recommended users disabling the FaceTime app for as long as Apple did not sent out an official update that fixed the issue.

    The group FaceTime option was introduced last October in iOS 12, the latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhones, iPads and iPods.

    Apple does admit to collecting information about users' behaviour to improve some of its features. But the company says it aggregates and "scrambles" millions of users' data together to look for general patterns, not specific individuals' traits.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies