After the issue was widely reported at the start of this week, Apple immediately disabled the group FaceTime feature and promised to release a fix later this week.
Just briefly, the eavesdropping issue enabled FaceTime callers to see and hear the person they were calling before they picked up the call.
Apple told MacRumors:
“We have fixed the group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week.
To be clear, the publication was able to confirm with Apple that group FaceTime will remain permanently disabled on iOS 12.1 through iOS 12.1.3. The issue will most likely be resolved in iOS 12.1.4. We expect a subsequent iOS 12.2 beta to contain this fix as well.
The company thanked the Thompson family for reporting the bug and issued the following apology to customers:
We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.
The company insists it reacted in a timely manner:
We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix.
Fixing the bug is obviously taking longer than expected, but that didn’t stop one lawyer from suing the company over the FaceTime issue because someone allegedly eavesdropped on a private conversation during a client deposition.
Curiously, Apple’s statement includes the following passage that kinda contradicts the claim that it reacted immediately after learning about this even though the company knew about the issue at least a week before it disabled group FaceTime.
We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.
What do you think about Apple’s statement, its handling of the whole FaceTime snafu and the apology to users?
Let us know by leaving a comment below.