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posted by chromas on Wednesday November 13 2019, @02:22AM   Printer-friendly
from the its-a-feature-not-a-bug dept.

Facebook bug shows camera activated in background during app use

Some people have complained their cameras got turned on while they were looking through Facebook's app.

When you're scrolling through Facebook's app, the social network could be watching you back, concerned users have found. Multiple people have found and reported that their iPhone cameras were turned on in the background while they were looking at their feed.

The issue came to light through several posts on Twitter. 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.

[...] "I thought it was just my phone or the app acting up," Lasafin said in a direct message. "Then I observed it became more persistent that evening."

Facebook would like to assure users that it was unintentional that the layout bug revealed that the camera was secretly activated.

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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday November 13 2019, @12:12PM

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday November 13 2019, @12:12PM (#919789)

    Note that in the automotive world its "common" to have tac switches and similar low current buttons simply feed into a microcontroller input pin along with a bunch of other stuff, then a microcontroller output pin feeds some variation on old fashioned relay or DC SSR (really just an optocoupler and a MOSFET, sometimes just one or the other LOL).

    All it takes is one bean counter to get all wound up about "why would you ever turn on the HVAC fan relay if the car key isn't even in the ignition?" And suddenly you've got a block of (hackable) code controlling your cooling fan despite it being a supposed mechanical switch.

    I can see the same game with the phones. Some bean counter is all "Well, we don't want customer service calls about the switch being accidently flipped so we'll turn it into a software only switch that indicates on the display that its off..." and there you go.

    There are typical political arguments about this social media problem, where certain types of folks have certain well known attitudes toward known criminal problems, ranging from victim blaming to the equivalent of white flight.

    In the long run, its impossible to avoid reality of "lay down with dogs get up with fleas" so the only way to avoid pathological social media problems is not to use social media. Which gets easier as more people flee and the ratio of NPCs/Bots vs actual thinking humans improves. I check my FB account from a desktop every couple months; its frankly not very interesting to use anymore.

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