Facebook iOS App Actively Using iPhone Camera Without Users’ Knowledge
Facebook for iOS may be able to actively use your iPhone’s camera as you scroll your feed.
According to a new report from The Next Web, the issue came to light with several users’ Twitter posts showing that their cameras were activated behind Facebook’s app as they were watching videos or looking at photos on the social network.
After clicking on the video to full screen, returning it back to normal would create a bug where Facebook’s mobile layout was slightly shifted to the right. With the open space on the left, you could now see the phone’s camera activated in the background.
The issue was first spotted by Twitter user Joshua Maddux, and has been confirmed working by various other users.
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
Maddux confirmed that he was able to recreate the issue on 5 other iPhones using iOS 13.2.2, while iOS 12 didn’t show the camera. The issue can be recreated by opening a profile or page in the app, tapping on an image and swiping to close it. If the issue is happening for you, you would see the active camera viewfinder.
The Next Web has also confirmed the issue on iOS 13.2.2, noting, “The findings are consistent with our own attempts.” It also seems that you have had to give Facebook access to your camera for the bug to activate
It’s unclear at this time whether this issue is a bug or is intentional, but given Facebook’s track record when it comes to user privacy issues, a little paranoia is probably not unwarranted. In any case, it’s probably a good idea to revoke Facebook’s access to your camera unless you absolutely need it, or until this issue is patched in a forthcoming update.