Bug in Facebook App Accesses the Camera in the Background

The Facebook for iOS app appears to be accessing the iPhone or iPad's camera in the background when the app is in use, according to multiple reports on Twitter.

The sliver of brown in this demo photo is the Facebook app accessing the camera behind the timeline.

When scrolling through the Facebook timeline, several users saw the camera activated in the background, as demonstrated in the tweets below.

One Facebook user found it through an interface bug that shows a small sliver of the display when looking at a photo, while another found it when rotating a device.

Both The Next Web and CNET were able to reproduce the issue and confirmed that the camera is activated in the background when using Facebook on iOS. The issue appears to impact iPhones running iOS 13, including the newest release version of ‌iOS 13‌, iOS 13.2.2. Devices running iOS 12 do not appear to be impacted.

Facebook vice president of integrity Guy Rosen this morning said that it "sounds like a bug" and that Facebook is looking into it, but Facebook has not officially commented on the issue.

Security researcher Will Strafach told TechCrunch that it appears to be a "harmless but creepy looking bug."

For the Facebook app to access the camera in the background, camera and microphone access must be enabled in the Settings app. Those concerned about the bug can disable Facebook's access to these features on the ‌iPhone‌ and the ‌iPad‌, or delete the Facebook app.

Top Rated Comments

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11 weeks ago
Working as intended... until they're caught.
Rating: 53 Votes
11 weeks ago
Yeah.... bug or undocumented “feature”?
Rating: 46 Votes
11 weeks ago
A "bug."
Rating: 38 Votes
11 weeks ago
The only bug shown here is that it became visible to the users
Rating: 35 Votes
11 weeks ago
F* Facebook
Rating: 31 Votes
11 weeks ago
The whole company is a bug created by Mark Zuckerbug
Rating: 26 Votes
11 weeks ago
A bug my a**. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if fb wanted this to happen.
Rating: 22 Votes
11 weeks ago
A few nights ago, I noticed that if I had the Facebook app open, I couldn’t use the flashlight feature. [It would be unselectable in the Control Center.]

I took it to mean that the Facebook app was somehow accessing the camera when the app was open, so I decided to revoke the Facebook app’s access to my camera in Settings.

After doing that, I could use the flashlight feature even if the Facebook app was open.
Rating: 19 Votes
11 weeks ago
We need more transparency and control over all the background processes running on our mobile devices and the ability to kill them. Windows has Task Manager, macOS has Activity Monitor, iOS has nothing and it's long overdue.
Rating: 9 Votes
11 weeks ago
This is yet another reason why I don't run the actual FB app on my phone, and instead access their service through a web page link in Safari. Can't trust the buggers any farther than I could comfortably spit out a rat.
Rating: 8 Votes

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