Photo Credit: Alastair Pike/ AFP
Over the last several days, multiple Facebook for iOS users noticed something weird happening with the social giant's main app. Apparently, the Facebook app was automatically activating the rear cameras of iPhones while the app was being used. Given the company's past privacy missteps, there were obvious concerns among the users about their privacy. Facebook has since acknowledged the issue and noted that it was a bug, which was inadvertently introduced in the version 246 of the company's app. A new version of Facebook for iOS has been released in App Store, fixing the bug.
"Thanks for flagging this. This sounds like a bug, we are looking into it," tweeted Rosen in reply to a user.
Later, Rosen admitted there was indeed a bug. The bug appears to only affect iPhone users running the latest iOS 13 software.
We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape. In fixing that last week in v246 we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this.— Guy Rosen (@guyro) November 12, 2019
"We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape. In fixing that last week in v246 (version246), we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this," he tweeted.
A Twitter user Joshua Maddux had flagged the issue: "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".
Update: We've confirmed that we didn't upload anything to FB due to this bug and that the camera didn't capture anything since it was in preview mode. We've submitted a fixed version to the App Store which is already rolling out.— Guy Rosen (@guyro) November 12, 2019
Another posted: "Facebook app on iOS 13.2.2 opens my phone's rear camera when I open a profile photo swipe down to return (look at the little slit on the left of the video). Is this an app bug or an iOS bug?"
Rosen said Facebook was submitting a fix for this to the Apple App Store. The version 247 of Facebook for iOS can now be found in the App Store. Notably, the bug did not impact Android users.