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Feb 1, 2019

Apple apologizes for FaceTime bug, delays fix to next week

Tim Cook made us money, but Apple needs a new leader: Shareholder


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Apple Inc. (AAPL.O) apologized for a bug that let users of its FaceTime video-chat service listen in on people they contacted even before the person accepted or rejected the call.

The iPhone maker said it has fixed the flaw on its servers and will roll out an update to iOS users next week.

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

Cupertino, California-based Apple mitigated the problem on Monday by remotely disabling Group FaceTime, but will need to release the software update for it to work properly again without the bug. Apple said at the time that an update would be available this week.

The bug was a rare black eye for Apple, which prides itself on strict privacy and security features. Earlier this week Apple temporarily pulled important app-development tools from Google and Facebook after deciding the two companies broke its rules in monitoring users’ web traffic.

In an era when technology companies are coming under increasing scrutiny for privacy violations, New York officials seized on Apple’s disclosure and said they will investigate the company’s failure to warn consumers about the bug and its slow response.

In the statement Friday, Apple said that when its "engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix.”

Group FaceTime calling was a key feature in last fall’s iOS 12 software update, which comes with the latest iPhones and iPads.