An Arizona teenager discovered Apple’s FaceTime error

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An Arizona teenager and his mother tried to convince Apple to fix their FaceTime error for more than a week, but to no avail, according to a Wall Street Journal report published on Tuesday.

Michele Thompson told The Journal that her 14-year-old son, Grant, discovered the vulnerability on Sunday, January 20, while organizing a “Fortnite” game session with his friends. The error allows FaceTime users in a group chat to secretly listen to what someone is saying before the person answers their call.

Two days later, Thompson sent faxes and made phone calls to Apple directly, according to the report. That gave him a call from an Apple support representative who told him that the best way to raise his concerns would be to file a formal error report with the company. To do this, Thompson registered as a developer and presented the problem to Apple’s Bug Reporter program, according to the Journal.

The Apple Security Team first responded to Thompson on Wednesday, and by Friday, she had provided the team with evidence of the problem, which according to the Journal included a description and a YouTube video of her son replicating the error.

New York governor Andrew Cuomo has also advised his city’s residents “to disable their FaceTime app until a fix is made available”. He also stated that “The FaceTime bug is an egregious breach of privacy that puts New Yorkers at risk. In New York, we take consumer rights very seriously and I am deeply concerned by this irresponsible bug that can be exploited for unscrupulous purposes.”