Facebook is secretly using your iPhone’s camera as you scroll your feed

Facebook is secretly using your iPhone’s camera as you scroll your feed

iPhone owners, beware. It appears Facebook might be actively using your camera without your knowledge while you’re scrolling your feed.

The issue has come to light after a user going by the name Joshua Maddux took to Twitter to report the unusual behavior, which occurs in the Facebook app for iOS. In footage he shared, you can see his camera actively working in the background as he scrolls through his feed.

The problem becomes evident due to a bug that shows the camera feed in a tiny sliver on the left side of your screen, when you open a photo in the app and swipe down. TNW has since been able to independently reproduce the issue.

Here’s what this looks like:

Maddux adds he found the same issue on five iPhone devices running iOS 13.2.2, but was unable to reproduce it on iOS 12. “I will note that iPhones running iOS 12 don’t show the camera (not to say that it’s not being used),” he said.

The findings are consistent with our own attempts. While iPhones running iOS 13.2.2 indeed show the camera actively working in the background, the issue doesn’t appear to affect iOS 13.1.3. We further noticed the issue only occurs if you have given the Facebook app access to your camera. If not, it appears the Facebook app tries to access it, but iOS blocks the attempt.

It remains unclear if this is expected behavior or simply a bug in the software for iOS (we all know what Facebook will say; spoiler: “Muh, duh, guh, it’s a bug. We sorry.”). For what it’s worth, we’ve been unable to reproduce the issue on Android (version 10, used on Google Pixel 4).

Whatever the reason for it, though, this behavior is particularly concerning — especially considering Facebook‘s atrocious track record when it comes to user privacy (remember Cambrdige Analytica?).

By now, everyone should be well aware that any iOS app that has been granted access to your camera can secretly record you. Back in 2017, researcher Felix Krause spoke to TNW about the same issue.

At the time, the researcher noted one way to deal with this privacy concern is to revoke camera access (though that arguably doesn’t make for a smooth software experience). Another thing he suggested is covering up your camera — like former FBI director James Comey and Facebook‘s own emperor Mark Zuckerberg do. Learn from the pros I guess.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for further comment, and will update this piece accordingly if we hear back.

 

Source: thenextweb.com

About the Author
Kofi Gyasi
Kofi Gyasi is the Founder of FRIIS I.T Solutions with a wealth of Experience in Information Technology Consultancy, Training and Web Development. Kofi has consulted for a number of companies in the area of Training, Web Services, Computer Networking, Orientation and other related fields. He has a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Information Technology (Network Systems), Higher National Diploma (HND) in Computer Networking Management and a Google Certification in Digital Marketing with over 9 years of experience in Web Development and Information Technology Consultancy. He has consulted for Marigold Consult Limited for over 6 years and also was an I.T Manager at Pinnacle College – an Accredited Tertiary Institution in Ghana – Accra and recently worked on a nationwide project with GIZ Ghana to empower the youth of Ghana with some current digital tools and new technologies which increases productivity at work. Kofi has partnered with some reputable brands in Ghana such as Safebond Africa Limited (Tema Port), British International School, Knowledge Tree International, Bentil Consulting Limited (Kofi Bentil – Vice President of Imani Ghana) and a host more. He is also supported by a team of highly skilled professionals.

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