iOS ‘privacy loophole’ lets apps secretly record users and detect their mood
iOS ‘privacy loophole’ lets apps secretly record users and detect their mood:- GOOGLER Felix Krause has uncovered a worrying setting in iOS that enables apps with camera permissions to secretly record photos and videos without them knowing.
To demonstrate the issue, the Austrian developer created an app called ‘watch.user’ that is capable of taking pictures of its user every second and upload them without notifying them in any way.
The iOS feature, which Krause described as a “privacy loophole that can be abused by iOS apps”, also allows developers to run real-time face recognition to detect facial features or expressions, to pinpoint where the user is located based on image data and to livestream a users’ camera straight onto the web.
“iOS users often grant camera access to an app soon after they download it (e.g., to add an avatar or send a photo). These apps, like a messaging app or any news-feed-based app, can easily track the users face, take pictures, or live stream the front and back camera, without the user’s consent,” Krause warned.
Krause has disclosed the loophole to Apple and has even suggested how the firm should go about fixing it. Apple could, for example, make camera permissions temporary, or at least add MacBook-style indicators to notify when the device is recording.
Until Apple does something about it, the Googler recommends that iPhone users use camera covers and revoke camera access for all apps, although this means that some app functionality would be sacrificed.
“If you’re using a messaging service, like Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram or anything else, chances are high you already granted permission to access both your image library and your camera,” he said.
“You can check which apps have access to your cameras and photo library by going to Settings > Privacy.”