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A fix for the major Group FaceTime bug is coming soon.
A fix for the major Group FaceTime bug is coming soon.

Image: HOMAS TRUTSCHEL/PHOTOTHEK VIA GETTY IMAGES

Apple’s apology tour continues.

The tech giant has issued an official statement apologizing for the major Group FaceTime bug that allowed a caller to hear a person’s audio before they even picked up the call. 

In a statement sent to Mashable, Apple says it has fixed the significant security bug after it had  moved quickly to disable Group FaceTime after the bug was discovered. Apple says it’ll release a software update next week to address the flaw.

On top of thanking the Thompson family for originally reporting the bug (although, it was not addressed in a timely manner before it went public), Apple has pledged to “improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible.”

Apple’s full apology statement follows below:

“We have fixed the Group FaceTime security bug on Apple’s servers and we will issue a software update to re-enable the feature for users next week. We thank the Thompson family for reporting the bug. We sincerely apologize to our customers who were affected and all who were concerned about this security issue. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we complete this process.

We want to assure our customers that as soon as our engineering team became aware of the details necessary to reproduce the bug, they quickly disabled Group FaceTime and began work on the fix. We are committed to improving the process by which we receive and escalate these reports, in order to get them to the right people as fast as possible. We take the security of our products extremely seriously and we are committed to continuing to earn the trust Apple customers place in us.”

The FaceTime bug was somewhat ironic for Apple, which has recently made it well known how much it values privacy. 

Though it didn’t have an official presence at CES, the company bought out a massive billboard during the tech show to throw shade at other tech companies for not taking privacy more seriously.

“What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” the billboard said with a link to Apple’s privacy website.

Post CES, Apple CEO Tim Cook penned an op-ed in Time Magazine urging Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to pass more comprehensive federal legislation to protect consumer privacy.

“In 2019, it’s time to stand up for the right to privacy—yours, mine, all of ours,” wrote Cook. “Consumers shouldn’t have to tolerate another year of companies irresponsibly amassing huge user profiles, data breaches that seem out of control and the vanishing ability to control our own digital lives.”

While the Group FaceTime bug patch will be released next week (Apple originally promised a software update fix this week) and most people will brush the matter under the rug, it’ll be more crucial than ever to be critical of companies when it comes to privacy. 

It’s imperative as consumers we start understanding which companies have data, how they’re using that data, and how it’s being protected. Facebook and Google are learning the hard way that privacy matters. 

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