Lawyer Sues Apple for FaceTime Bug, Claims It Was Used to Listen to Private Deposition

Facetime Group Calling Bug Credit: Rene Ritchie / YouTube
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A Houston-based lawyer is suing Apple over the recently disclosed FaceTime bug that potentially allowed Apple users to eavesdrop on others without them knowing.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Harris County District Court by attorney Larry Williams II. In the suit, Williams claims that Apple “failed to exercise reasonable care,” that the iOS 12.1 update was defective, and that Apple did not adequately warn users of the danger posed by the security flaw.

“Essentially, the product coverts a person’s personal iPhone into a microphone that can be answered by an unknown third party to listen and record one’s most intimate conversation without consent,” Williams wrote.

Williams went on, stating that Apple “knew, or should have known, that its Product would cause unsolicited privacy breaches and eavesdropping.” He alleges that Apple did not test FaceTime thoroughly enough and claims that the company must have been aware that the bug could cause harm to users.

The suit says that Williams was undergoing a private deposition with one of his clients when the “defective product breach” allowed for that private conversation to be recorded, Courthouse News reported.

“The Product was used for its intended purpose because Plaintiff updated their phone for the purpose of group FaceTime calls but not unsolicited eavesdropping.”

As a result, Williams claims that the bug caused “sustained permanent and continuous injuries, pain and suffering and emotional trauma.” The suit adds that the Houston lawyer “lost ability to earn a living.”

The FaceTime bug in question was widely publicized on Monday. Essentially, it allowed FaceTime users to listen in on a call recipient’s audio and view a live video feed from their camera — both without their knowledge.

Williams is seeking compensatory and punitive damages against Apple on claims of product liability, negligence, warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation. The suit also seeks damages from other unknown parties.

It isn’t readily clear when Apple was first made aware of the bug, but a Twitter user reported that she tried to report the bug to Apple at least a week ago by contacting Apple Support through the social media platform.

After news of the security vulnerability spread, Apple implemented a server-side fix by disabling the Group FaceTime feature. The company says that a software update with a fix for the bug will be released this week.

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