Apple is already hit with the first lawsuit over the FaceTime eavesdropping bug

Following an eavesdropping issue that let FaceTime callers see and hear the person they were calling before they answered, Apple is now facing its first lawsuit over the embarrassing bug.

Even though Apple acted swiftly by immediately disabling the group FaceTime feature and promising to release a fix via a software update due later the week, a Houston lawyer is now suing the Cupertino technology company because his iPhone supposedly allowed an unknown person to listen in on a private conversation during a client deposition.

Bloomberg has the story:

Attorney Larry Williams II said the glitch intrudes on the privacy of ‘one’s most intimate conversations without consent,’ according to the complaint he filed in state court in Houston. He said he was eavesdropped on while taking sworn testimony during a client deposition.

He is seeking unspecified punitive damages on the claims of negligence, product liability, misrepresentation and warranty breach.
Apple ad: Elvis impersonators singing to each other via group FaceTime

The nightmare bug couldn’t have come at a worse time for Apple because it happened on Data Privacy Day, and especially given Apple’s own commitment to protecting user privacy.

Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called the bug an “egregious breach of privacy” that puts New Yorkers at risk. He’s concerned the flaw could be “exploited for unscrupulous purposes.”

A snapshot of Apple’s System Status page showing group FaceTime issues.

Group FaceTime appears to have been the main culprit here. The iPhone maker mitigated the problem by disabling the feature on the server side. Still, some customers remain skeptical and concerned about their Apple device potentially acting like a hot mic.

If you’re in that boat, simply turn off FaceTime on your Apple devices and keep it disabled until a fix is delivered. You may also want to consider using alternatives to group FaceTime calling, such as Skype, Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, WeChat, HouseParty and more.