Over the past couple of weeks, Facebook users on iOS have reported a concerning issue: the company’s mobile app triggering the iPhone’s rear camera, which was noticed operating in the background. Multiple users have been able to replicate this phenomenon, spurring privacy concerns and raising questions over the cause of this unusual behavior. Facebook has responded, saying the camera app activation is the result of a bug.
The issue is a bit tricky to explain but easy to spot on video: simply put, users noticed that when exiting media and/or switching from landscape to portrait mode, the Facebook app experienced an issue that caused it to be slightly offset on the phone’s screen.
Visible on the left side of the app — in the space left visible by the offset — was the phone’s camera app with a live view of the user’s surroundings. The issue has only been noted in the most recent version of Facebook on iOS. Earlier today, Facebook VP of Integrity Guy Rosen acknowledged one of the tweets showing the bug, stating that the company was looking into it.
In a subsequent tweet, Rosen said that the camera’s appearance is the result of a bug on Facebook’s end and that the company is currently working on a fix for the problem. The bug is said to itself be the result of a fix for a different bug that caused the iOS app to launch in landscape mode. Rosen claims Facebook hasn’t found any evidence that the bug has resulted in videos or photos being uploaded.
Around 2:30PM ET, Rosen said that Facebook has submitted a fix for the bug with the App Store on Tuesday, meaning the update should be available soon. There isn’t an official workaround for the bug; instead, you’ll just need to revoke the camera permissions from Facebook until the bug is fixed, meaning you won’t be able to directly capture content for posts and stories.