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Apple is very, very sorry it let people spy on you accidentally

Whoops, I guess…

apple facetime
Image: Getty Images

In an uncharacteristic apology that wasn’t of the “you’re using it wrong” format, Apple today said it’s sorry about the FaceTime flaw that let people eavesdrop on other users. A fix is in the works to make group FaceTime work as intended and is scheduled to be released next week.

If you’ve spent any time on social media this week, you have surely seen one of the number of posts regarding this issue. The bug not only let callers listen to the person they’re calling but in some cases, it actually let them see through the camera of the other device. That’s all without the other person answering the call, making a mockery of Apple’s claims of “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone” just before CES earlier this year.

Not that iPhones were the only devices affected, any device with FaceTime could have been turned into a temporary spying tool including Macs and iPads.

Check out the full statement from Apple

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. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. 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.

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. 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.

Apple gave credit to the family of the 14-year-old Fortnite player who spent over a week trying to contact Apple after discovering the bug. The company also recognized that it could improve on its bug reporting process, as none of the attempts at contact received a response.

Group FaceTime was switched off at the server level following the media reports of this bug to give Apple time to work on the fix. The company had originally said a fix was coming this week, apparently, it was more complex than thought as the fix is coming next week instead.

See, this is why I have an Android

What do you think of Apple’s apology? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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