Multiple Facebook users have reported that their iPhone cameras are being secretly activated in the background while they are scrolling through their Facebook feed. 

According to a news report, Guy Rosen, the Vice President of Integrity at Facebook, noted that it seemed to be a bug. "We recently discovered our iOS app incorrectly launched in landscape," Rosen said in a tweet. "In fixing that last week in v246 we inadvertently introduced a bug where the app partially navigates to the camera screen when a photo is tapped. We have no evidence of photos/videos uploaded due to this." 

This incident could become another privacy setback for the company. In July, Facebook agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion penalty, submit to new restrictions and to a modified corporate structure that would hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users’ privacy, to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company violated a 2012 FTC order by deceiving users about their ability to control the privacy of their personal information.

Dr. Richard Gold, information security professional experienced in both offensive and defensive security, as well as security engineering, said, “The Facebook bug seems like a fairly regular kind of bug which unfortunately slipped through QA testing. However, due to Facebook’s position in the market and general public sensitivity towards privacy, it is clear that any bug that even hints of a loss of privacy is taken very seriously by the public. Our smartphone apps have immense insight and access into our personal lives and the public is rightly concerned that the appropriate measures are being taken by companies to protect their privacy and their data. Bugs such as these erode the already fragile trust between companies and the public, even though their origin might be completely innocuous.”