Tech

A lawyer is suing Apple over the FaceTime eavesdrop bug, says it let someone record a sworn testimony

Key Points
  • A lawyer in Texas is suing Apple over a recent FaceTime exploit that let people listen in on conversations.
  • The lawyer says someone was able to listen in while he was undergoing a private deposition with a client.
  • The suit says Apple knew about the bug.
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook attends China Development Forum (CDF) 2018 at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse on March 24, 2018 in Beijing, China. China Development Forum (CDF) 2018 is hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council of China on March 24-26 in Beijing.
Visual China Group | Getty Images

A Houston lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Apple over a security vulnerability that let people eavesdrop on iPhones using FaceTime.

The bug went viral on Monday evening after news outlets, including CNBC, verified that one person was able to place a FaceTime video call to another person and, using the exploit, was able to listen in or see video of the recipient of the call, even if they didn't answer. Attorney Larry Williams II says he heard about the bug on or before Sunday.

His lawsuit, filed Monday in Harris County, Texas, alleges that Apple "failed to exercise reasonable care" and that Apple "knew, or should have known, that its Product would cause unsolicited privacy breaches and eavesdropping." It alleged Apple did not adequately test its software and that Apple was "aware there was a high probability at least some consumers would suffer harm."

The suit says that Williams was "undergoing a private deposition with a client when this defective product breached allowed for the recording" of the conversation.

Williams claimed this caused "sustained permanent and continuous injuries, pain and suffering and emotional trauma that will continue into the future" and that Williams "lost ability to earn a living and will continued to be so in the future."

The lawsuit also says that iOS 12.1, the latest major release of the iPhone operating system, was defective and "unreasonable dangerous" and that Apple "failed to provide adequate warnings to avoid the substantial danger" posed by the security flaw.

A teenager's mother told CNBC that she reported the bug to Apple last week, but Apple has not confirmed to CNBC that it recognized or was able to replicate the bug.

Williams is seeking compensatory and punitive damages as a result of the exploit.

After news of the exploit spread, Apple quickly removed the ability to place group FaceTime calls. The company said that a fix is coming this week.

Apple did not immediately respond to a CNBC request Wednesday for comment about the lawsuit.

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