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Creepy FaceTime glitch shows random pictures, raising privacy concerns


An unusual glitch with FaceTime calling has popped up in the Apple Discussions forum. It appears that for some people FaceTime would bring up a random image, a user wrote:

My boyfriend and I have both recently experienced this problem several times – when one of us is calling the other via FaceTime, an old picture freezes on our screen, while the person receiving the call only sees a black screen. It’s kind of creepy, because it brought up photos of both of us at work, where I have used FaceTime a few times but he never has.

Another poster suggested that the camera seems to be keeping random images that have not been taken before and don’t seem to originate from past FaceTime calls:

Just minutes ago when i called my girlfriend and i saw a “picture” of myself from today when i was at the office. I know it was from today because i had the exact same shirt. The weirdest thing is that picture is not stored on my iPhone.

Judging by the comments, restoring the phone and manually re-installing all the apps doesn’t help. This glitch is bound to raise privacy concerns. I, for one, would not be happy about my iPhone taking pictures of me when I haven’t told it so.

Actually, this reminds me of a similar problem when the original iPhone was released… Back then, eagle-eyed users had found out that the device grabbed a screenshot of the running app when the home button was pressed. This was by design so that the phone could zoom in to the saved screenshot when a user runs the same app again in order to give the appearance of loading more quickly.

The “feature” got substantial air time due to privacy implications. For example, someone could obtain your personal information by grabbing a screenshot of your banking app from the phone’s memory.

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