On Sunday, web designer Joshua Maddux discovered a strange Facebook application glitch when using his iPhone. The user found that the social networks app activated his camera after being opened. However, other users reported dealing with the problem earlier this month.
On Tuesday, the Big Tech firm acknowledged the error and submitted a fix to the Apple App Store. However, Facebook’s increasingly buggy platform should concern privacy-conscious users.
The Facebook iPhone Camera Glitch
Following Maddux’s disclosure, other Facebook app users took to social media to report they experienced the same iPhone camera glitch. Twitter subscriber @Neo_QA encountered the problem on November 2, but their post didn’t attract as much attention.
CNN determined the error only affected iPhone owners as the Android version of the program didn’t replicate the problem. The organization also spoke to security engineer Jeffrey Gamblin, who confirmed the bug didn’t transmit data to the technology company. The engineer also noted users could prevent it from occurring by denying Facebook app permission access to their camera.
While the social media company has been slow to respond to past bugs, it addressed the iPhone camera error within days.
On November 12, Facebook Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen went on Twitter to explain what happened. According to the executive, the corporation created the glitch when attempting to patch a previous error that caused its app to launch in landscape mode. Though the patch worked, it also created a new glitch that opened the iPhone’s camera when users tapped a photo within the program.
Rosen also said his company didn’t receive any unauthorized data and that Facebook submitted an app update to Apple.
A Year of Glitches
With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook would inevitably experience its share of bugs. However, the world’s biggest social network has had a worryingly high number of large scale glitches this year.
In March, Facebook admitted it had stored 200 million to 600 million user credentials unencrypted for six years. In July, the firm’s engineers discovered a years-old Facebook Kids app glitch that allowed unauthorized users to interact with children. Two months later, a data security researcher found an unsecured cache containing personal information belonging to 419 million Facebook members.
Furthermore, in May, TechCrunch revealed a marketing company created an unprotected database containing information on 49 million users of Facebook subsidiary Instagram.
Besides, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5 billion this past summer for failing to protect its users’ data from being harvested by Cambridge Analytica.
Because of Facebook’s unparalleled size and influence, its glitches are never just inconvenient. The platform’s bugs and coding mistakes have a significant impact on the real world. Unfortunately, the firm’s leadership seems more concerned with developing questionable new products than optimizing its social network.
Currently, the Menlo Park, California-based service has more than $52 billion in cash on hand. As such, Facebook has more than enough money to hire more engineers to error-proof its network.