Law Firm in Canada Applies for Class Action Lawsuit Against Apple Over Group FaceTime Eavesdropping Bug

BY Evan Selleck

Published 31 Jan 2019

FaceTime Group Video Calling 2

Apple had a rough end to 2018 thanks to the “bendgate” issue and the new iPad Pro. Unfortunately, 2019 didn’t start off all that well, either.

What has become a very serious issue for Apple will probably be patched either later today or on Friday. For now it’s a grave concern that has grabbed quite a bit of attention. That includes an incoming investigation from the New York State Attorney General. And a lawyer in Houston, Texas, is suing Apple over the eavesdropping bug in Group FaceTime. Now we can add a law firm in Canada to the list.

The law firm Lambert Avocat Inc. is based out of Montréal, Canada, and is applying for a class action lawsuit against Apple over the Group FaceTime eavesdropping bug. It is filing the paperwork with the Superior Court of Québec. The lawyers are seeking compensation for all Apple device users exposed to the bug.

Specifically, the class action suit includes all iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad users that have their devices updated to iOS 12.1 or newer, as well as macOS Mojave 10.14.1 or newer users. This covers Canadian customers. Up to this point, this is the first class action lawsuit against Apple for this particular privacy concern. It may not be the last, though.

As a quick refresher, it was reported earlier this week that a bug within Group FaceTime makes it very easy to eavesdrop on someone without their knowledge. Following a few specific steps can make it possible to hear the audio from the call recipient’s device before they answer the Group FaceTime request. In light of the news breaking, Apple has temporarily disabled FaceTime as it works on a solution.

Worse, it sounds like Apple’s cumbersome bug reporting procedure actually delayed the discovery of this particular eavesdropping bug in Group FaceTime. Indeed, we reported that an iPhone owner out there in the wild actually discovered the bug and reported it to Apple, in several different capacities (including fax!) a week before the news was made public regarding the bug.

Apple says a fix is coming this week for the issue, after it disabled Group FaceTime altogether.

What do you think of this particular privacy bug? Think it should have a lasting impact on Apple moving forward? If anything, it sounds like Apple needs to revamp its procedures and steps for getting information on bugs out in the wild. Beta programs are great, but these issues can crop up with the public launches, too.

[via MacRumors; Lambert Avocat Inc.]