PSA: iPhone Users Should Disable FaceTime Immediately

Apple is working to address the issue, but you can disable FaceTime yourself to be safe.

37 Comments

Unless you're comfortable with people discreetly listening in on your most private conversations (it's okay, I talk about the movie Face Off with my cat, too), you should disable FaceTime right now on any supported devices. A newly discovered bug impacting iOS devices, including iPhones, allows someone to call another user through FaceTime and force it to begin transmitting the call receiver's audio--all without them potentially even being aware.

As originally reported by 9to5Mac, the process involves you initiating a FaceTime call and then adding yourself to the call again. Due to the bug, this causes the other person's device to effectively answer the call so that you can hear audio from their end. This has been confirmed by numerous other sources, and it's reportedly possible that--if the call receiver presses the Power button--video is transmitted, too.

Apple has acknowledged the bug and says a fix is coming later this week. In the meantime, it's disabled Group FaceTime functionality, which is seemingly to blame for the issues, although 9to5Mac says it's still possible to take advantage of the exploit.

Disabling FaceTime is relatively easy, as you simply need to go into your device's FaceTime settings and turn it off. If you do need step-by-step instructions, CNET has put together a guide on how to turn off FaceTime on both iOS and Mac devices.

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ohrenclez

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You do relize that it requires a complicated process for this to work, and when it happens you actually see who is calling you when it is happening....this does not require a "OH MY GOD EVERYBODY IS SPYING ON ME" article.

There is no need to go to such lengths to listen to a few seconds of pocket-dialing...people are giving away their data for free, so who in their right mind would try it this way.

Also apple already switched off the feature...so no ned to "TURN OFF FACETIME IMMEDIATELY"

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Chubby170

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another reason to stay far away from Apple products.

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pyro1245

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Eh. Aren't we all being listened to by all of our devices at this point?

Best just to not say out loud what you don't want others to hear.

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Chubby170

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@pyro1245: Its sad that you seem to be ok with all of that. .

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pyro1245

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@chubby170: It's not ideal. Better technology comes with a lot of caveats.

I'd rather act accordingly than regret it later.

I don't have any solutions to the current state of the world.

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Chubby170

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@pyro1245: ha, id rather just not have technology that presents issues like that!

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tsunami2311

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have had disabled since forever anyway, hell i have camera block one of those rubber covers laptop makers use to cover screws on the frame.

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srfilk86

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Paranoia, much?

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Chubby170

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@srfilk86: Its not paranoia when its actually happening.

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DudeBroPartyYo

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Well apple does work with shadow government. Some random listening to your conversations is a small picture, need to see the bigger one.

Anyways believe what makes you happy :)

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masscrack

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I wonder how many people got caught cheating because of this "bug".

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djape_boss

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so when is this game coming out then?

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aboy1411

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Edited By aboy1411

@djape_boss: love it

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djape_boss

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@aboy1411: :)

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KyleADOlson

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Are you going update this to note there's no leak since they shut off the feature, or just let this sit (which is an overreaction anyway)?

It's a bad bug, but even if it was still possible you would know if someone is calling you.

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Asultana121x

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Funny when Apple is saying they will "disable" the bug when it's most likely them that's doing it. Apple, Google, Facebook and a few other tech/social media companies are responsible for a lot of crap lately, I don't trust any of them anymore.

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wanderz

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@asultana121x: wait.. you actually trusted them before?? :)

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Tekcor

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Nice scare article. The issue is a big deal, but Apple has already disabled group FaceTime to negate the issue. So if you're disabling just to prevent this issue, don't bother. You're already taken care of. But that doesn't drive clicks.

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Deckard2323

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Or, how about you not answer EVERY CALL you get, unless it's from someone you know. Unless you're in my address book, don't bother calling or face timing me.

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Tekcor

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@Deckard2323: Doesn't require answering the call, that's the point.

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Deckard2323

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@Tekcor: I stand corrected.

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JSprunk

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Just to make it easy:

Settings --> Facetime (Flip the top switch to the left to disable)

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Sound_Demon

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@jsprunk: You can't uninstall that bloatware? I don't know cause I don't use overpriced products.

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Pyrosa

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Edited By Pyrosa

AND you could also consider leaving it disabled. No one else wants to hear your annoyingly loud conversation, let alone see who you're talking to. We really, truly don't care about your kids, your date, nor your "problem."

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Pyrosa

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Edited By Pyrosa

@Pyrosa: (BTW, there's a cream for that.)

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Vodoo

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I spend so much time disabling all of the digital assistants, microphones and cameras on all devices in my house. Even the damn tv remote listens to you. Vizio got caught grabbing peoples' data from the tv's because it was enabled by default, buried deep in menus.

These sneaky ass companies. I can't stand it.

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Pyrosa

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@Vodoo: Pain in the butt to have to physically open the remote and snip, too.

Easiest to forcibly disable all networking on the 4K TV after the updates are caught up, and just use the apps on a console. (My TVs are now all just that -- TVs.)

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Vodoo

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@Pyrosa: I don't know why anyone would want to use the digital "assistants" like Alexa. The thing has voice recognition and is always listening. Even if it just transmits meta data, it's still violating your privacy. It's a frigin open radio channel to what's going on in your house.

The worst, imo, are the phones. Because you can't definitively know what it's transmitting. Even turning off all permissions, disabling background internet access, I can still see data being uploaded and downloaded and they don't really let you control everything. It's an illusion.

I use an alternative Android ROM that's more secure and gives more control over built-in and system apps. But I'll turn something off under the "developer menu," and it turns itself right back on. I ended up messing up my phone for turning off things that I didn't know what they were, but I got it back to taking calls and texts, lol. I even leave mobile data off unless I get a group text or picture sent my way. It drives me nuts that privacy is a thing of the past.

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OldDadGamer

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OldDadGamer  Moderator

Too many microphones everywhere, really. It's getting kind of silly how much we're willing to have cameras and microphones and all that around us all the time.

Should just delete Facetime. All it is is a phone call that makes your chin look abnormally large.

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KamiNoBeniMizu

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@olddadgamer: I got a GPS chip grafted to my liver.

#I dun regret it ?

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NattyDaddy604

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Damn! That's scary.... Well at least apple will fix the bug, and can resume being the only ones with rights to access your microphone at anytime.. carry on everyone!

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