Think twice before cursing that ex who won’t stop calling: A newly found bug in Apple’s FaceTime means someone could dial you and listen to your phone’s microphone—even if you don’t pick up.
In other words, if you see FaceTime ringing on your device, the caller could already be listening to whatever it is you are saying, or doing.
How the FaceTime bug works
Open the FaceTime app and start to call a contact. Before that person picks up, swipe up and add your own phone number to the call.
Once you’re added, FaceTime assumes the connection is an active conference call and starts sending you the audio of whoever you’re calling—even if that person hasn’t picked up.
Worse still, if the recipient of your call hits the power or volume button to ignore you, the victim’s phone will start sending video, too!
Protect yourself from the FaceTime bug
Until Apple resolves the issue, the best option is to turn off FaceTime in your phone or computer’s settings. Here’s how to do that:
How to disable FaceTime on your iOS device
- Open the Settings app
- Search for FaceTime and tap on the result
- Ensure it is switched OFF
How to disable FaceTime on your Mac
- Open the FaceTime app on your Mac
- Select FaceTime from the menu bar
- Click Turn off FaceTime
Apple has temporarily disabled Group FaceTime in response to this flaw, which appears to have fixed the problem for most users. A permanent solution is being promised with a software update this week.