Facebook users, who really should reconsider their life choices right about now, are noticing that Facebook's iOS app is accessing their iPhone or iPad camera while they're doing completely unrelated things, like skimming their FB feed to catch up on what friends are posting. One workaround is to go into your permissions and revoke the app's right to use your camera.
Another is to delete the app and kill your account and never look back, but to each their own — and some folks kind of need to use it for work or other reasons, so don't judge.
"The issue came to light through several posts on Twitter," reports Alfred Ng for CNET, "Users noted that their cameras were activated behind Facebook's app as they were watching videos or looking at photos on the social network."
After people clicked on the video to full screen, returning it back to normal would create a bug in which Facebook's mobile layout was slightly shifted to the right. With the open space on the left, you could now see the phone's camera activated in the background. This was documented in multiple cases, with the earliest incident on Nov. 2.
It's since been tweeted a couple other times, and CNET has also been able to replicate the issue.
Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but Guy Rosen, its vice president of integrity, tweeted Tuesday that this seems like a bug and the company's looking into the matter.
Today, while watching a video on @facebook, I rotated to landscape and could see the Facebook/Instagram Story UI for a split second. When rotating back to portrait, the Story camera/UI opened entirely. A little worrying… pic.twitter.com/7lVHHGedGf
— DFC (@neo_qa) November 2, 2019
Facebook app on iOS 13.2.2 opens my phone's rear camera when I open a profile photo swipe down to return (look at the little slit on the left of the video). Is this an app bug or an iOS bug?? @facebook @AppleSupport pic.twitter.com/WlhSXZulqx
— Daryl Lasafin (@dzlasafin) November 10, 2019
Thanks for flagging this. This sounds like a bug, we are looking into it.
— Guy Rosen (@guyro) November 12, 2019
We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape. In fixing that last week in v246 we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this.
— Guy Rosen (@guyro) November 12, 2019
More details on the "bug" here: Facebook bug shows camera activated in background during app use.
1. Bug or feature, Facebook keeps immolating itself and us when it comes to dignity and privacy.
2. Also need a Mac-style indicator light on iPhone and iPad, locked to the Secure Enclave, so you absolutely know when a camera or mic is hot. https://t.co/mspymPXeZP
— Rene Ritchie (@reneritchie) November 12, 2019
"Likely a bug" seems too generous to me when it comes to the Facebook app using the camera in the background. https://t.co/tdC1oUu1eQ
— Stephen Hackett (@ismh) November 12, 2019
The Facebook app caught using the camera while scrolling the feed, described as "likely" a bug: https://t.co/1YPwBcLkQh
I always apply a modified Hanlon's razor with Facebook lately:
"Never attribute to bugs that which is adequately explained by malice"
— Federico Viticci (@viticci) November 12, 2019
Another workaround would be to delete your account and then the app, because quite honestly…that's what it's going to take to get rid of this roach of a company. https://t.co/A2YGdMQBHN
— drew olanoff (@yoda) November 12, 2019
A friendly reminder to always revoke camera/photo permissions from any Facebook product after use, if you must use them at all.https://t.co/fXCBhY92hf
— Jordan (@jordan) November 12, 2019
Omg what? The Facebook app was remotely switching on your camera while you scrolled the FB feed!? If you haven't already #DeleteFacebook then do this in settings https://t.co/dZ0lksJSlC pic.twitter.com/LfaheGDU1d
— Mike Butcher – Gov.UK/registertovote ☒ (@mikebutcher) November 12, 2019
If you still trust Facebook, here ya go.
"Likely a bug"
— Canoopsy (@Canoopsy) November 12, 2019
Good, hope they all see me picking my nose https://t.co/8PeRh3jb8D
— Brooke Binkowski (@brooklynmarie) November 12, 2019