Apple has today issued an apology for the recently uncovered Group FaceTime security flaw, that allowed group FaceTime users to see and hear the people they were calling even before a recipient answered. The company also said that it has fixed the issue on its servers and will soon issue a software update to re-enable the feature.
At the same time, Apple has confirmed to MacRumors and some other media outlets that the Group FaceTime will remain permanently disabled on iPhones, iPods and iPads running iOS 12.1.3 or earlier.
Users who want to make Group FaceTime calls in the future will need to update to iOS 12.1.4 once it goes live, presumably as early as next week. The fix is not just server side, as it means you’ll need to update to the latest version of iOS to use Group FaceTime again.
Here’s how Apple apologized while acknowledging the issue earlier today:
“We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.
We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.”
Allegedly affected users in the U.S. and Canada have already started the process of filing lawsuits against Apple, claiming privacy invasions due to the bug.