Well over a week before Apple decided to disable the feature, a 14-year-old boy named Grant Thompson from Tucson, Arizona had discovered the Group FaceTime security glitch that allowed FaceTime users to see and hear the people they were calling even before a recipient answered.
“I’m only 14 and I found it by accident, instead of the people at Apple that get paid to find glitches”, said Thompson, who together with his mother, spent a week trying to get Apple to do something about the bug in its FaceTime group-chatting feature without any success.
Grant, a straight-A student who loves to play Fortnite, was calling friends to play the game on a Saturday night, Jan. 19 when he discovered the flaw.
“You can swipe up and add another person, so I added another friend of mine, Diego, to see if he also wanted to play,” he said. “But as soon as I added Diego, it forced Nathan to respond.”
They were shocked at first, then tried to repeat the bug and it happened every time, he said. His mother, Michele Thompson, said she started trying to reach Apple the next day.
“They could have tested it within two minutes, realized it was true and brought it up the chain at Apple,” said Thompson, who works as an attorney. “There needs to be a better process for the average citizen to report things like this. And a timelier response.”
In a statement last week, Apple thanked the Thompsons as it announced that it has identified a fix and will release it as soon as next week as an iOS update which will also re-enable the group FaceTime feature.