The dust raised by Joshua Maddux on Twitter has promptly received several confirmations: the Facebook application for iPhone with the iOs 13.2.2 operating system installed activates the camera in the background without informing the user. A bug rather than an intentional cyber threat, which however worries a lot.
Maddux writes: “I discovered a Facebook security and privacy problem. When the app is open it goes to actively use the camera. I found a bug in the software that allows you to see the camera open behind the feed “. Below, the video with the view of the rear camera framing a carpet in multitasking.
Found a @facebook #security & #privacy issue. When the app is open it actively uses the camera. I found a bug in the app that lets you see the camera open behind your feed. Note that I had the camera pointed at the carpet. pic.twitter.com/B8b9oE1nbl
— Joshua Maddux (@JoshuaMaddux) November 10, 2019
Basically, when the user is going around the bulletin board among the various posts, photos, links and advertisements, the camera turns on. As reported by Cnet , the problem should appear when you open a video or photo on the Facebook app (especially full screen) and return to normal viewing. Whatever the cause, it remains a problem to be reckoned with since it shows how to activate the eye of the smartphone without informing the user is more than possible.
However, there are several points to specify. The first is that it does not seem to appear outside of several iPhones with the operating system iOs 13.2.2 installed since Maddux’s own tests with iOs 12 and The Next Web with iOs 13.1.3 have not encountered the same phenomenon. And with the Android app nothing is reported.
The second point is that if the Facebook app is not authorized to access the camera, the iOS operating system will block any attempt by the software. The third and most important is that it should be a bug during the development and / or modification phase implemented by Apple on the bees, since there is no real intent of “spying” of what the camera frames by of Facebook. And no photos or videos are saved.
Fortunately, Facebook has already confirmed that it is aware of this bug by stating that version 244 of Facebook iOs encounters a problem with launching in panoramic mode with a bug that causes partial navigation in the adjacent camera screen. The correction is promised as soon as possible with an update of the official app that should be released by return mail.
In the meantime, it remains an episode that makes one think and that sensitises on the maximum attention to be always given to all the software requests that are being installed (even the most authoritative ones).