It appears that Facebook at the center of yet another issue involving privacy.
Reportedly, multiple iPhone users have come forward on social media complaining that the Facebook app secretly activates their smartphone’s camera in the background while they scroll through their Facebook feeds or looking at the photos on the social network.
For now, take Facebook who has recently been found using the iPhone’s camera through its iOS app while users are browsing its app regardless of whether they are using any camera-related Facebook feature or not.
The potential misuse though can only be found in iOS version 13.2.2 with preceding versions unaffected by it as stated by Joshua himself.
Furthermore, the camera only works in this way if you’ve allowed Facebook access to it in the past.
“I will note that iPhones running iOS 12 don’t show the camera but not to say that it’s not being used,” Maddux said.
Some users also tested the issue after revoking camera permissions from Facebook, and they found that the background space was just a black screen in that case.
However, the concerning part is that not only Facebook but any other iOS app can do the same as was found by a Google engineer named Felix Krause in 2017.
He discovered that apps could access both front and back cameras, upload pictures & videos taken and also run real-time facial recognition which can be used to track someone online as well.
Elaborating further, he states how they could “use the front and the back camera to know what your user is doing right now and where the user is located based on image data.”
Currently, there is speculation as to whether Facebook has been doing this intently or if it is a genuine bug.
This is partly due to no response yet from Facebook leaving users to guess it out.
In either circumstance, this does result in bad PR for Facebook especially when it has already been embroiled in conflicts arising from privacy concerns on how the company utilizes user data.
Moreover, other apps both on Android and iOS have been found spying on users through similar tactics drawing undue attention to Facebook.
Hence, it is advised that everyone take some basic security precautions such as restricting camera and microphone access to only a handful of apps leaving little room for misuse in the first place.
Additionally, you could completely cover your camera with tape just like security-conscious users would do with a webcam on a laptop although to be fair, you’ll be missing in on the iPhone’s only improving feature lately.