Instagram claims the issue is caused by a “bug.”
Just a few days ago Hackread.com reported that a “yet to be fixed bug” in Firefox browser’s Android app keeps their phone’s camera active when the app is in the background or even when the phone is locked. Now, Apple’s iOS14 beta mode has caught Instagram’s unexpected prying behavior.
Users took to social media and shared snippets of their notification panel wherein, a green ‘camera on indicator’ showcased that the app accessed the camera even if they were only casually scrolling through the photo feed.
The “buggy” discovery is one of iOS14’s enhanced privacy features which include notifying or alerting users when an app accesses the camera, microphone, or pastes text from the clipboard. Instagram is only supposed to access the in-app camera when the user opts for it by swiping or uses the story creator mode.
Casually browsing Instagram when suddenly the new iOS 14 camera/microphone indicator comes on. Then control panel ratted out the app behind it. This is going to change things. #iOS14 pic.twitter.com/EnTIRsqq3R
— KevDoy (@KevDoy) July 17, 2020
Regarding the privacy glitch that surfaced, the Instagram spokesperson told The Verge that:
‘We only access your camera when you tell us to — for example when you swipe from Feed to Camera. We found and are fixing a bug in iOS14 Beta that mistakenly indicates that some people are using the camera when they aren’t, we do not access your camera in those instances, and no content is recorded.”
Declaring this as a bug, the spokesperson explains that the system sometimes confers the swiping motion as ‘user accessing the creator/stories mode in the app’ subsequently, enabling or tripping the in-app camera. However, they are working to get this fixed as soon as possible.
Madre mía lo que está destapando #iOS14 y este “bug” lo he visto yo con mis propuos ojos 👉🏻 #Instagram muestra el indicador de “cámara encendida” incluso cuando los usuarios no toman fotos.
Dicen que lo están subsanando pic.twitter.com/RvJ5lFK5x2
— Mariano L. López (@Maito76) July 26, 2020
The above-mentioned tweet translates the following:
OMG, what’s uncovering #iOS14 and I have seen this “bug” with my own eyes Instagram Displays the “camera on” indicator even when users are not taking photos. They say they are correcting it.
LinkedIn and iOS14 privacy issue
The iOS14 privacy features, which aren’t even fully available to the general public, have caused quite a stir. Earlier this month, the beta version revealed LinkedIn’s privacy-invasive ‘clipboard copying’ practice.
TikTok copying clipboard content on iOS
Similarly, TikTok was called out for accessing user’s clipboard content on iOS devices even though the company promised to discontinue this. Despite claims, the app continued to do so. However, the concerned spokesperson termed this as a part of an ‘anti-spam’ feature which was ironically not introduced to android devices.
Facebook “bug” access cameras on iPhones
Previously, Instagram’s parent company Facebook made headlines for similar reasons when it was reported that Facebook was using iPhone’s camera through its iOS app. This happened while users were browsing through the Facebook app regardless of whether they are using any camera-related Facebook feature or not. In response, Facebook claimed that it was just a bug.