Updated on November 15, 2019:
Facebook has fixed the bug that activated iPhone's camera while users scrolled through their feeds. The update is available on App Store and users can fix the glitch with the software update.
Facebook hasn't been the ideal place to be for those who value digital privacy. The world's largest social networking platform has been associated with multiple instances of breaching users' data without their knowledge and now another creepy incident further paints Facebook in bad light.
According to a new report, a web designer discovered a scary incident where Facebook app on his iPhone activated the camera while scrolling down the news feed. To understand if it is an isolated issue, Joshua Maddux tested five iPhone devices and the issue persisted in all of them.
Maddux also noted that the issue was only on iPhones running iOS 13.2.2, whereas those on iOS 12 or even iOS 13.1.3 should not be worried. It is also worth noting that the issue is subjected to Facebook having permission to use iPhone's camera, otherwise iOS doesn't allow for the glitch to work.
Facebook has since acknowledged the bug in its iOS version of the app and a fix has been submitted, pending Apple's approval. As per Facebook's statement, the bug was introduced in the last update to the app last week, which was to fix an issue with the app launching in landscape mode.
"We recently discovered that version 244 of the Facebook iOS app would incorrectly launch in landscape mode. In fixing that issue last week in v246 that was rolled out on November 8th, we inadvertently introduced a bug that caused the app to partially navigate to the camera screen adjacent to News Feed when users tapped on photos," Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity at Facebook, tweeted.
Rosen also assured its users that no photos or videos were uploaded due to the bug. If you've received an update to the Facebook app on App Store, it is important you download it immediately. Most importantly, as a precautionary measure, users can revoke camera access from the app. But that could affect the smooth functioning of Facebook if you can live with that.
To recall, a Google engineer had revealed in 2017 an alarming privacy setting in iOS that enabled iPhone apps with camera access to take photos and videos without user's knowledge. Facebook was not named, but Apple's privacy was brought into questioning at the time. With iOS 13, Apple has made several changes, more so on the privacy front, to keep user data safe.