Apple has disabled its group FaceTime feature

Jan 30, 2019, 00:22
Apple has disabled its group FaceTime feature

The bug is triggered when callers add themselves to the same call to launch a group chat.

Apple has issued a statement to say that the bug will be fixed in an upcoming software release for iOS out this week. The bug lets you call anyone with FaceTime and immediately receive audio from their phone before they've accepted or rejected the incoming call.

Apple has taken its part of its FaceTime app offline while it works to fix a glitch that allowed users to listen to the audio of another's phone before the call was picked up. You can do this on an iPhone by going into the Settings application and toggling the FaceTime app switch to gray.

The site reports that the bug allows people to call you on FaceTime and listen to the phone's microphone regardless of whether the person picks up.

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But until that fix comes, it would be best to disable FaceTime on your iPhone or Mac for now. The other person isn't aware that the caller can hear them.

Start a FaceTime Video call with an iPhone contact.

An Apple executive talks about group FaceTime during an announcement of new products at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

In the meantime, industry figures including Twitter founder Jack Dorsey have urged users to disable the FaceTime feature as a precautionary measure until Apple fixes the issue. The timing couldn't be worse, given that Apple is set to host its earnings call for the October-December quarter of 2018 in just a matter of hours.

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As a result of the bug, Group FaceTime has been unavailable since 10:16 PM ET last night, according to Apple's System Status page.

Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of NY, issued a statement saying that the "FaceTime bug is an egregious breach of privacy that puts New Yorkers at risk".

Apple does seem to have temporarily disabled FaceTime due to the serious privacy risk it poses, though that should not stop you from turning off the service on your device as well.

The software patch will be issued by the end of the week.

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