Several Facebook users have expressed their concern regarding a common issue that they have faced, that is while scrolling through Facebook, the social network could be using your camera. They have found and reported that their iPhone cameras were turned on in the background while they were looking at their feed.
Several posts have been made on Twitter regarding the issue and it came to light. Several users noticed that their cameras were turned on behind Facebook’s app as they were watching videos or looking at photos on the social network.
After they clicked on the video to full screen, returning it back to normal would create a bug in which the mobile layout of Facebook was slightly shifted to the right. Now, you can see the phone camera activated in the background with the open space on the left.
The issue has been seen in several cases with the earliest incident on Nov. 2. It has been tweeted a couple of other times and CNET has also been able to replicate the issue. On Thursday, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen tweeted that it seems like a bug and the company is looking into the matter.
Rosen made another tweet, in which he stated that Facebook is submitting a fix to the App Store on Tuesday. Rosen said that "We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape."
"In fixing that last week in v246 we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this."
Later, Rosen confirmed that Facebook did not capture any photos or videos while in the background and observed that it was in preview mode. The creative director of marketing agency Dame Digital in the Philippines, Daryl Lasafin said he first ignored the problem when he first noticed it Sunday morning. He thought it would be a minor glitch.
But when he continued using Facebook’s app he again noticed his camera is activated in the background. "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."
He decided to solve the problem himself by uninstalling, reinstalling and also removing Facebook’s access to the camera. In spite of doing all efforts, the camera continued to pop up. Lasafin further claimed after he revoked permissions from Facebook it was just a black screen.
Only the latest iOS versions were affected by the bug and it did not happen on Android devices. The Next Web reported that the bug didn't appear on iOS 12. This active camera may cause unwanted privacy flap for Facebook. In July, the tech giant agreed to pay a record $5 billion fine if it fails to protect people’s data.
Facebook’s reputation on privacy is so worrying that many people still believe that the social network is secretly recording people by their microphones.
"I gave the Facebook app permission to access my camera to fully use the My Day / Stories feature and upload photos and videos as status," Lasafin said.
"But at the time, evidently, I wasn't using the app for anything that requires camera access," he added. He further said that he has since deleted Facebook’s app because of privacy concerns with the company. He is not sure if he will reinstall the app once the issue is addressed.