APPLE'S DEVASTATING FaceTime bug has caught the attention of US lawmakers, who say they're "deeply troubled" by the "significant" privacy mishap.
The eavesdropping bug, which allowed iPhone users to listen in on people they were calling even if the person at the other end never answered, first hit headlines at the end of January, and while Group FaceTime has since been disabled, it still hasn't been properly fixed.
After news of the bug was made public, it soon emerged that Apple had been contacted multiple times about the issue by 14-year-old Grant Thompson, who stumbled on the glitch when playing Fortnite.
This hasn't gone down well with the House of Representatives' Energy and Commerce Committee, which this week penned a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook demanding the firm reveal when it first learned the bug and whether other similar security flaws exist that have not yet been disclosed.
"As a first step, we believe it is important for Apple to be transparent about its investigation into the Group FaceTime vulnerability and the steps it is taking to protect consumers' privacy," the letter states. "To date, we do not believe Apple has been as transparent as this serious issue requires."
"The serious privacy issue with Group FaceTime demonstrates how these devices can also become the ultimate spying machines. That is why it is critical that companies like Apple are held to the highest standards."
The Committee also wants to know of any other undisclosed bugs that Apple has yet to address and which could similarly give unauthorized access to an iOS device's microphone or camera.
"Your company and others must proactively ensure devices and applications protect consumer privacy, immediately act when a vulnerability is identified, and address any harm caused when you fail to meet your obligations to consumers, the letter adds.
The letter requests that Apple respond to questions about the vulnerability, and provide a timeline of the steps that were taken to address it, by no later than 19 February.
Apple has yet to comment, but in a previous statement, the company said it was committed to improving the process by which it receives and escalates bug reports.
"We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us," it said. µ
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