Facebook iOS app bug that enabled background camera access patched

By Digit NewsDesk | Published on Nov 13 2019
Facebook iOS app bug that enabled background camera access patched

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HIGHLIGHTS

The Facebook app for iOS was caught accessing the camera in the background.

Users posted a couple of videos on Twitter showing the bug in action.

Facebook has rolled out an update that fixes the bug.

Update: Facebook has rolled out an update for its app on iOS. The new patch fixes the bug that enabled the app to inadvertently access the camera in the background. The update is now available for download from the App Store. 

The Facebook app on iOS is reportedly accessing the camera in the background. Some users discovered this was happening and tweeted a video showing the bug in action. As per @neo_qa’s tweet, the app can be seen accessing the camera UI for Facebook Stories in the background when orientation is switched from portrait to landscape. While switching back to portrait, the app directly opens up the Stories camera UI. A web designer, Joshua Maddux, posted a video that shows the camera UI running in the background, which is barely visible while viewing an image on the Facebook app. 

Maddux also says that he was able to reproduce the same issue in five other iPhones that he tested. All of these devices were running on iOS 13.2.2 but the problem wasn’t reproduced in devices running iOS 12. Facebook told The Verge ṭhat a fix for the first issue is being submitted to Apple and the second bug inadvertently crept into the Facebook app with an update that was pushed on November 8.  “we have seen no evidence of photos or videos being uploaded due to this bug,” Facebook said in a statement.  

With all the problems that Facebook is facing around user data and privacy, a bug like this, even if unintended, could erode a user’s trust. There’s already a myth floating around that Facebook is listening into user’s conversations and that’s how some creepily accurate ads were shown on your feed. However, the company has denied such accusations and the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg called it a “conspiracy theory.” Ever since the Cambridge-Analytica data scandal, Facebook says it has been trying to be a more privacy-centric company. Zuckerberg has time and again reiterated the company’s commitment to user data and privacy, but it remains to be seen how its agenda fares. 

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