A new controversy looms over Facebook, which has just left the Cambridge Analytics case to get into another “eggplant.” Whether accidentally or intentionally, it has been discovered that the Facebook app for iOS activates the iPhone’s camera in the background without the user being aware of it. Is it a bug or is there something behind this “problem”?

The news has jumped to the present after a Twitter user, Joshua Maddux, reported what we could call an unusual mobile behavior that occurs when we use the Facebook application for iOS. As you can see in the following video recorded by the user, the rear camera of the iPhone is activated when Facebook is opened, being active in the background while the saurus is consulting the social network.

The problem becomes evident when opening a photo in the application and swiping down. Here we see how to the left of the screen we see that the phone’s camera is on. The Next Web has been one of the first means to echo this problem, claiming that it also happens to them, so it does not seem to be a punctual error.

Maddux adds that he found the same problem in different iPhone with iOS 13.2.2, but he was not able to reproduce it in iOS 12. We have tested our iPhone 11 with the same version of iOS 13 that seems to give the bug and for the moment we have not been able to see the camera on (which does not mean that it does not happen, just that it is not seen).

Where is the fault?

The problem seems exclusive to iOS 13.2.2, the latest version of Apple’s operating system as the failure does not seem to affect iOS 13.1.3. Of course, the problem only occurs on occasions when access to the camera has been granted for Facebook applications. If not, it seems that iOS blocks Facebook’s attempt to access the iPhone’s camera.

We have tried to reproduce the failure of Facebook with the camera of our Android phones, with both Android 9 Pie and Android 10 and it has not been repeated, so it seems a clear bug of iOS 13.2.2 and Facebook. At the moment neither Apple nor those responsible for the social network have made any statement about it but we hope they do so as soon as possible, since this behavior is especially worrying, especially considering Facebook’s history and our privacy.


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