Thanks to a bug introduced in iOS 12.1, iPhone users were temporarily able to eavesdrop on other unsuspecting iPhone users. The frightening glitch involved using Apple’s new FaceTime groups feature, which has since been disabled. But Larry Williams II, a lawyer in Texas, says Apple was aware of the issue long before it was put on blast online earlier this week. And, more alarmingly, that the glitch was used by a person to eavesdrop on sworn testimony.
His lawsuit, filed Monday in Harris County, Texas, alleges that Apple “failed to exercise reasonable care” and that Apple “knew, or should have known, that its Product would cause unsolicited privacy breaches and eavesdropping.” It alleged Apple did not adequately test its software and that Apple was “aware there was a high probability at least some consumers would suffer harm.” The suit says that Williams was “undergoing a private deposition with a client when this defective product breached allowed for the recording” of the conversation.
There have long been concerns — long being a relative term here — over smart home technology eavesdropping on our private lives and having those recordings used against us. See here: Police issuing a warrant in Arkansas for voice recordings from an Echo owner accused of murder. But it’s one thing to be concerned about possible use cases for a piece of technology you bought intentionally because it’s constantly listening to you. It’s another one entirely to be burned by a device you weren’t aware had those capabilities to begin with. Time to move to the woods.