New York State is launching a probe into whether Apple failed to properly warn its customers about the Group FaceTime bug that allowed FaceTime users to spy on other users.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and new Attorney General Letitia James on Wednesday said the state was probing Apple Inc’s failure to warn consumers about a FaceTime bug that lets iPhones users see and hear others before they accept a video call.
“We need a full accounting of the facts to confirm businesses are abiding by New York consumer protection laws and to help make sure this type of privacy breach does not happen again,” Cuomo said in a statement.
The vulnerability allows an iPhone user to place a call from their device using Apple’s Group FaceTime calling feature to hear audio, and in some cases see video, from the recipient’s phone, even if they reject the call.
The bug has already led to a lawsuit over the matter, as a Houston, Texas lawyer claims the glitch allowed an unknown party to listen in on a private call he was on with a client.
Larry Williams II is claiming negligence, product liability, misrepresentation and warranty breach on Apple’s part. He is seeking unspecified punitive damages.
While Apple is said to be working on resolving the vulnerability, for the short term the company has disabled the Group FaceTime feature. A patch for iOS devices to resolve the issue is expected this week.
The bug, which is present in versions of iOS all the way up to the iOS 12.1 was first publicized on Monday. However, it was later revealed that Apple had been warned about the vulnerability over a week ago, raising questions as to why Apple hadn’t taken action sooner.