Tech Guide

How to disable FaceTime so people can't spy on you by exploiting a bug

Key Points
  • There's a bug that lets people hear or see you even if you don't answer a FaceTime call on your iPhone.
  • Apple says a fix is coming this week.
  • Here's how to disable FaceTime so you're not as vulnerable.
Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a keynote during the European Union's privacy conference at the EU Parliament in Brussels, Belgium October 24, 2018.
Yves Herman | Reuters

There's a massive privacy bug on iPhones that lets people call you with FaceTime to hear you and see you — even if you don't pick up the call.

Here's the gist of how it works: Using the bug, someone can listen in or see you through your iPhone.

Apple has since disabled Group FaceTime until it has a more permanent solution later this week. To be extra safe, here's how you can turn off FaceTime on your iPhone to prevent anyone from trying to snoop on you in the meantime.

  • Open Settings.
  • Choose FaceTime.
  • Toggle the button so that FaceTime is off (there's no green showing.)

That's it. I tested it on my own iPhone and it stopped FaceTime calls from coming in entirely, so nobody could just listen in or try to watch me through my iPhone's camera.

Here's the full response Apple provided to CNBC: "We're aware of this issue and we have identified a fix that will be released in a software update later this week."

WATCH: Apple announces group FaceTime

Apple announces group Facetime