Forget worrying about nosy people peering over your shoulders when you scroll through your Facebook News Feed. The social media company could be a bigger threat.
During the past month, Facebook users have been reporting on Twitter that their iPhone cameras were turned on while scrolling through their feed on Facebook. The camera was hidden behind the app and turned on when they were checking out images on Facebook or watching videos.
It appears to be an iOS only problem
According to media reports, some users dismissed the issue while others tried to uninstall and reinstall the Facebook app to get rid of the bug, but to no avail. It appears to be only impacting users of the latest iOS version and doesn't happen with Android devices.
Found a @facebook #security & #privacy issue. When the app is open it actively uses the camera. I found a bug in the app that lets you see the camera open behind your feed. Note that I had the camera pointed at the carpet. pic.twitter.com/B8b9oE1nbl— Joshua Maddux (@JoshuaMaddux) November 10, 2019
Other users took to Twitter to explain how Facebook iPhone users can find out if the camera is on, lurking in the background.
I take the phone back out, but there’s no indication on the lock screen to say audio or video was playing. I unlock the phone, and there’s the video on @Instagram playing away.— DFC (@neo_qa) November 2, 2019
Guy Rosen, vice president of integrity at Facebook said in a Tweet the problem appears to be a bug. He noted the social media company is looking into it.
Another privacy blow for Facebook?
Whatever the cause of the problem, it's not likely to sit well with Facebook users who are already wary of how it handles their user data. The Cambridge Analytica scandal in which the now-defunct political consulting firm accessed the data on 87 million Facebook users without their permission, is still fresh in their minds.
In July it was fined a record $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission and agreed to conduct a privacy review of every newly developed service or product. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has to submit the reviews. The company also faces a privacy assessment by a third party each quarter.