Apple Inc. (AAPL) Group FaceTime users can breathe a bit easier after the company released an update for iOS on Thursday that fixes an issue that allowed people to eavesdrop while using the iPhone's group video calling feature.
The embarrassing bug went viral on social media after a 14-year old discovered that while group FaceTiming with friends on his phone, he could hear someone else who hadn't answered when he called simply by hitting "add person."
However, Apple, which has made its protection of user privacy a selling point, didn't immediately respond to the teen's report, only doing so after news of it spread widely via social media. But the company did disable Group FaceTime early last week while it worked on a fix.
To install the fix, iPhone users simply need to open Settings on their iPhone, tap General and choose Software Update.
Group FaceTime is a feature that Apple, an Action Alerts PLUS holding, launched last year to allow multiple people to engage in video chat on Apple devices
On Jan. 20, a Twitter user tweeted at Apple's support account, outlining the issue.
Here is another example of the mother reaching out to Apple again over email on Jan 22, after being ignored repeatedly leading up to 1/22. pic.twitter.com/aN52VqWewv— John H. Meyer (@BEASTMODE) January 29, 2019
The teen's mother ended up both emailing and faxing a formal document to Apple on January 25 to report the bug.
Here is the mom's official bug report to Apple. Note that the mom self-describes as "not at all techy" and was baffled that Apple Support asked her, an average citizen, to sign up for an Apple developer account to then submit an official bug report, in order to be taken seriously pic.twitter.com/PWdrsych5t— John H. Meyer (@BEASTMODE) January 29, 2019
Apple shares were down 1.89% to $170.94 on Thursday and are up 8.5% this year after reporting December quarter earnings that were slightly better than lowered guidance it gave in early January.