Facebook is secretly using iPhone’s camera as users scroll their feed

Pierluigi Paganini November 12, 2019

New problems for Facebook, it seems that the social networking giant is secretly using the camera while iPhone users are scrolling their feed.

Is this another privacy issue for Facebook? The iPhone users Joshua Maddux speculates that Facebook might be actively using your camera without your knowledge while you’re scrolling your feed.

Maddux published footage on Twitter that shows the camera on his iPhone that is active while he scrolls through his feed.

“The problem becomes evident due to a bug that shows the camera feed in a tiny sliver on the left side of your screen, when you open a photo in the app and swipe down. TNW has since been able to independently reproduce the issue.” reported The Next Web.

The expert successfully tested the issue on devices iPhone devices running iOS version 13.2.2, but the problem doesn’t affect iOS version 12,

Maddux adds he found the same issue on five iPhone devices running iOS 13.2.2, but was unable to reproduce it on iOS 12.

“I will note that iPhones running iOS 12 don’t show the camera (not to say that it’s not being used),” Maddux said.

The personnel at TNW noticed that the issue only occurs if users have granted the Facebook app access to your camera.

At the time of writing, it is still unclear if the issue is expected behavior, the issue is not working on Android devices.

A similar issue was described in October 2017 by the Austrian developer and Google engineer, Felix Krause. The expert explained that the privacy issue in Apple iPhone could be exploited by iOS app developers to silently take users’ photos and record their live video by enabling both front and back cameras.

The iPhone users will never receive any notification from the device, Krause shared technical details in a blog post.

At the time, the researcher explained that the best way to mitigate the issue was to revoke camera access.

TNW contacted Facebook for comment.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – iPhone, hacking)

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