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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, @12:25PM (3 children)

    by VLM (445) on Wednesday November 13 2019, @12:25PM (#919795)

    Not conspiracy theories, to the best of my knowledge this is clickbait I've seen and regurgitate here for your pleasure:

    1) FB patented using camera snaps for location tracking some time ago; would not be surprised if they spam the F out of you today with targeted advertisements if their background camera analysis indicates you're inside starbucks right now as opposed to the hair salon next door.

    2) Supposedly, and I admit this gets conspiracy theory-ish, FB uploads pix not to analyze the pix but to analyze your camera imager flaws (kinda like astrophotography) to detect if you are really you or bot or whatever. I do know from android development and using the studio emulator software, I can simulate the cam but the images are obviously digitally "perfect". I would imagine FB could locate and block botnets and stuff, as if they care, by looking for real world anomalies in camera snaps. This does not require useful pix, just a pix random enough to map out your dead pixels and stuck on pixels and dusty lens contaminations and so forth.

    It would seem trivial to MITM or run on emulator and watch traffic patterns to see if they're actually uploading nudies for later CIA blackmail or if they're merely uploading lists of dead pixels for identification purposes, etc.

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  • (Score: 2) by Bot on Thursday November 14 2019, @12:16AM (2 children)

    by Bot (3902) on Thursday November 14 2019, @12:16AM (#920081) Journal

    >if you are really you or bot
    Is this a trick question?

    Account abandoned.
    • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Thursday November 14 2019, @01:21AM

      by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday November 14 2019, @01:21AM (#920116) Homepage Journal

      Yes, to both questions.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14 2019, @08:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 14 2019, @08:44PM (#920488)

      He didn't even capitalize your name, how rude! :-)