In bad news for you but great news for your FBI agent, a newly-discovered Facebook bug is allowing the app to access users’ iPhone cameras as they scroll through their feeds.
Twitter user Joshua Maddux was one of the first to document the glitch, sharing a video to Twitter that shows the social networking app actively using his camera in the background.
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
A Facebook representative said that they have been made aware of the problem, saying that it causes the app to “navigate to the camera screen adjacent to News Feed when users [tap] on photos.”
The company has repeatedly denied claims that it spies on users, and while this certainly doesn’t look good for them, they claim that “no evidence of photos or videos being uploaded due to this bug.”
They are presently submitting a bug fix to Apple.
When testifying before Congress back in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg denied claims that Facebook listens to people in order to advertise more effectively to them, saying:
“You’re talking about this conspiracy theory that gets passed around that we listen to what’s going on on your microphone and use that for ads. We don’t do that.”
So yeah, if you lay your iPhone down on the table and talk about how you want to go on a skiing holiday to Japan, you definitely won’t see targeted ads for that very thing start to appear.
Several months ago, it was revealed that Facebook paid people to transcribe the content of audio messages sent through the Messenger app.