If you use the Facebook app on your iPhone, the social networking platform may be quietly using your camera as you scroll your feed.
The issue was raised by Twitter user Joshua Maddux, who recently posted footage where you can see his iPhone camera working in the background as he scrolls his Facebook feed.
A breach in privacy?
This problem becomes clear when a glitch is revealed on the iPhone screen, as shown in Maddux’s tweet. Watching his video, you’ll realize that behind the Facebook app, Maddux’s camera feed is displayed in a sliver on screen left. This happens when you open a photo in the app and swipe down.
In the thread below his tweet, Maddux added that he found the same issue across five iPhone devices running iOS 13.2.2 — however, he wasn’t able to reproduce it on iOS 12. “I will note that iPhones running iOS 12 don’t show the camera (not to say that it’s not being used),” he wrote.
These findings are consistent with the attempts of The Next Web, who noted they have “since been able to independently reproduce the issue.” TNW also stated that the issue only occurs if you’ve previously given the Facebook app access to your camera. If not, the Facebook app attempts to access the camera, but iOS block it, according to TNW.
This may be a bug in iOS software, however, this is still unclear. TNW also tried reproducing the issue on Android, with no results.
The behavior is concerning, though perhaps unsurprising as Facebook doesn’t have the best track record. However, until it’s confirmed what’s actually causing this glitch, it’s probably best to just proceed with caution.
Remember, any iOS app that you allow access to your camera can actively record you. If that’s worrisome, revoking camera access might be the way to go — despite the slightly frustrating software experience that follows.