Social media network Facebook is facing some issues on its end, with multiple bugs being reported in recent days. This is especially true as far as its iOS users go at least.
The latest in the slew of these reported bugs is quite alarming. Several users took to Twitter last week where the matter came to light, sharing anecdotes and even screen recordings of their iPhones where Facebook’s app would suddenly pop up the camera’s viewfinder when shifting while watching videos or photos.
Found a @facebook #security & #privacy issue. When the app is open it actively uses the camera. I found a bug in the app that lets you see the camera open behind your feed. Note that I had the camera pointed at the carpet. pic.twitter.com/B8b9oE1nbl— Joshua Maddux (@JoshuaMaddux) November 10, 2019
For a platform that has so often been on the wrong side of privacy protection requirements this development is quite distressing then, even If Guy Rosen, their VP of integrity says this is just an unintended product of the fixing of another bug.
We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape. In fixing that last week in v246 we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this.— Guy Rosen (@guyro) November 12, 2019
Privacy experts have for long said that granting camera permissions to applications will allow them to access it at any time, whether you, the end-user, is aware of it or not. Thus, it alleviates concerns that the platform may be accruing visual data on its users, such as reactions while consuming content and other creative ways.
However, in a statement to news portal Gizmodo the social media network said, “...We didn’t upload anything to FB due to this bug and that the camera didn’t capture anything since it was in preview mode. We’ve submitted a fixed version to the App Store which is already rolling out.”
Like Gizmodo said, the preview mode really does sound like a less scary of simply saying an 'always on camera.'...