Technology & Science

Apple disables group FaceTime amid reports of privacy bug

Apple has made the group chat function in FaceTime unavailable after users said there was a bug that could allow callers to activate another user's microphone remotely.

New York governor urges users to disable entire app until bug is fixed

Hayden Thompson, 17, lies on the grass FaceTiming on her iPhone at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Del., on June 17. This week, Apple disabled group chat on FaceTime after reports of a bug that lets callers activate another user's microphone remotely. (Mark Makela/Reuters)

Apple has made the group chat function in FaceTime unavailable after users said there was a bug that could allow callers to activate another user's microphone remotely.

The bug was demonstrated through videos online and reported on this week by tech blogs. Apple's online support page on Tuesday said there was a technical issue with the application and Group Facetime "is temporarily unavailable."

Reports said the bug in the video chat app could allow an iPhone user calling another iPhone through Group Facetime to hear the audio from the other handset — even if the receiver did not accept the call.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a statement warning people about the bug and urging people to disable the app until Apple fixes the issue.

How to disable FaceTime

Here's how to disable FaceTime on a Mac

  • Open the FaceTime app.
  • Choose FaceTime in the menu.
  • Choose "Turn off FaceTime."

Disabling FaceTime on an iPhone or iPad:

  • Open Settings.
  • Scroll down to FaceTime app.
  • Hit the button, turning green slider to grey.

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