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Apple fixes FaceTime privacy bug, will issue update next week



(Reuters) – Apple Inc. said Friday it has established an integrity error in its group video hijacking software and that it plans to improve how it handles software bug reports after a teenager and his mother tried for several days to defend iPhone manufacturers from the error .

On Monday, Apple said it would fix an error in its FaceTime chat software that allowed users to hear the sound of a person they called before that person answered the call.

The error was discovered by 14-year-old Grant Thompson, who, along with his mother Michele, attempted to report the error to Apple but said they were struggling to get the company's attention until the problem got tangled on social media.

Apple shut down FaceTime's group chat feature on Monday when its engineers worked to fix the problem. The company said it has fixed the bug on its servers and will activate the feature for users again next week.

However, the Apple thanked the Thompson family for reporting the problem. Grant Thompson told Reuters TV that he was trying to chat with his friend while playing a video game when he discovered the bug.

But it took Grant Thompson and his mother, a lawyer, nine days of phone calls, emails, online posts and even a letter on Michele Thompson's law firm's letterhead before receiving an Apple response, the family said.

"We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details needed to reproduce the error, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and started working on the repair," Apple said in a statement.

Decided to improve the process by which we receive and escalate these reports to get them to the right people as soon as possible. "

The state of New York is investigating Apple's failure to warn consumers about the bug," said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday.

                    


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