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Facetime Security Update: Apple Promises to Fix Group Calls Next Week

Apple apologized to its customers for the massive security flaw in its Facetime video chat app Friday, and promised to roll out a fix next week. The company also said that it was looking to simplify bug reporting procedures.

“We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue,” Apple said in a statement Friday. “We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.”

Earlier this week, news broke that Facetime users could be spied on through a bug in the service’s group calling feature. The bug gave callers access to a call recipient’s microphone even before he or she had picked up. Users were also at danger of inadvertently opening up their phone’s front-facing camera.

Apple initially responded to the bug by disabling Facetime’s group calling feature altogether, and promised to roll out a fix by the end of this week. “We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group Facetime and began work on the fix,” the company said Friday.

The exact timeline of the bug disclosure is still a matter of debate; reports indicate that a teenager’s mom was trying to make Apple aware of the bug earlier this month, only to be told by staff that she had to open a developer account in order to submit a bug report. The company eventually took action after a separate video detailing the big started trending on social media.

On Friday, Apple thanked the family for submitting its original bug report, and vowed to improve reporting procedures. “We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible,” Apple said.

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