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Anyone can call you on FaceTime and hear audio or see video from your phone before you answer. This bug is going viral on social media, and the only protection is disabling FaceTime.

Update: Apple has now disabled group FaceTime server-side. However, this may not have fixed the problem. We still recommend disabling FaceTime until the problem is fixed.

We learned of this via 9to5Mac. In summary, all you have to do is start a FaceTime call. While the call is dialing, swipe up from the bottom of the screen, tap “Add Person,” and add your own phone number. A group FaceTime call will begin and include the other person, even if they haven’t answered yet. It looks like they’ve answered, but the call will still be ringing on their lock screen.

All you can do is disable FaceTime to prevent people from snooping on you. If you see a FaceTime request on your phone, someone could be listening to you. There’s no way to limit FaceTime only to your friends, from what we know.

Apple told BuzzFeed News that is “aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week.”

That’s completely insane. A bug this big needs to be fixed immediately. Apple should shut down FaceTime for everyone if that’s what it takes.

Since Apple isn’t approaching this problem with enough urgency, we recommend disabling FaceTime for now.

On an iPhone or iPad, head to Settings > FaceTime and toggle FaceTime off. You’ll have to repeat this process on all your devices—for example, if you have both an iPhone and iPad.

To disable FaceTime on a Mac, open the FaceTime app and select FaceTime > Turn FaceTime Off. You’ll have to repeat this step on all your Macs, too.

FaceTime settings on iPhone

Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor in Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for nearly a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6 and Chicago's WGN-TV, and his work has been covered by news outlets like The New York Times and the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than 500 million times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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